Today I was given a gentle reminder to live for today. There are times when I go through my day feeling disconnected. I do not realize the lives I touch and the lives that touch me each and every single day. A perfect example is a man who came to be known as my “car mechanic” back in Illinois. The first time I stopped in to get my oil changed, the owner was extremely kind to me. He did not try to upsell me, or make me feel like a typical clueless woman who knows nothing about cars (which happens to be the truth about me). I remember leaving that day wondering if he was being nice to me because I was a woman, or if he was just a good businessman. The reality is that he was simply kind and genuine.
I continued to go back, and always received the same fair and kind treatment. When my tires were desperately in need of being replaced a few years ago, I was distraught because I was pretty low on cash. He looked at me and said, “Patti, I simply cannot let you continue to drive on those tires. One is bound to blow out at any given time and that would be unsafe. I will get you the best price, and you can pay me whenever you can.” WOW. He did, and I repaid him within a few weeks.
Things like that continued to happen over the years. I will not recount each and every kindness, but this was truly the most kindhearted and gentle man I have ever met.
This morning, a good friend of mine, who also went to my mechanic for all of his car repairs and service at my suggestion, called to tell me that he brought his car in for an oil change. When he saw our mechanic’s door was closed, my friend asked if he was on vacation. With tears welling up in her eyes, Marge, the office manager I suppose, looked at my friend and told him the very sad news. Our mechanic, our good friend, had passed away suddenly of a stroke just a few weeks ago at the tender age of 50. He left behind a beautiful wife and two teenage children.
Fonda… I will always remember your kindness. You were a fair and kind businessman with incredible integrity, but more importantly, a true gentleman and a genuine soul. I will continue to try and live each day to its fullest, knowing that every day is a gift not to be squandered. Our days on this earth are short, so we need to make each and every moment count, as you did. Thank you for the lessons. You will be in my heart always.
~ Patti Crowley