I want to start by saying that both my parents are very generous and caring people. They both travel to Mexico often, and most of the time by bus. When they return they have stories of how they helped somebody along the road, my Mom always gives up a sweater or jacket to a person without one, my Dad buys food for people who can't afford it or who he sees struggling to order something. This are just how my parents are, wonderful, caring and generous people.
A couple of weeks ago, after my BIH 5K, my Mom handed me a Guatemalan bill on a frame and told me this was my birthday present. She said that I could cash it in and get about $11 for it. I said thank you, and I wish I could tell you that I asked how she came upon Guatemalan money, but I didn't. I was tired and trying to get ready for bed, prepared and worried for the Half Marathon. So the picture frame was left on their coffee table after she handed it to me.
The next day, I was packing to return home, and I asked where my Guatemalan money was, and my mom had moved it to a safe place, to keep my niece from hurting herself with the frame. My mom asked me in a quiet voice, if I wanted the bill, that she knew it wasn't a good gift, and reminded me that I could cash it for dollars. Then she told me the story of how she came upon the Guatemalan Money.
A Guatemalan Woman and her child were traveling on the same bus as my Mom and Dad. As they were waiting for their bus, the woman approached my Mom and Dad and asked them if they could change her Guatemalan money for dollars, explaining that she and her child had not been able to get anybody to change them the money and had nothing else, and they had not eaten in 2 days! My Mom said that she took the money from her and gave her a $20, knowing her Money was only worth about $11. I don't know where they were at this point, but my Mom says that there were no restaurants or stores nearby that had any food. But My Mom gave the woman and her child some of the food she had, oranges, cookies, and peanuts. At the next bus stop they bought her and her son something to eat and drink. And told her to save the $20 for their next stop.
Then it hit me, My Mom gave me an amazing gift! She gave that woman and her child food! and by giving me the bill, she gave them food and drink on my behalf! I had tears on my eyes when she was telling me the story, and hugged her and thanked her for this amazing gift.
This story hit me specially hard, because I cannot imagine my son going without food or drink for 2 days. And I'm blessed to have such wonderfully caring parents who will split their food with perfect strangers, take off the sweater off their backs for a child or woman, and help a mom feed her child.
And to think that while I was there, worried about how to run a race for fun, a race that I paid more then $20 for, there are other humans out there who don't have money to eat. It makes me feel like an awful human.
What great non-gifts Gifts have your parents given you?
What are your parents like?