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It happened 10 years ago today.  It doesn’t seem possible that so many years could have passed since then.  Apparently, a tenth of a century flies by in the blink of an eye.  It was Wednesday, November 25, 2009, the day before Thanksgiving.  I was thinking about my Mom and Dad in Cullman, Alabama.  We had originally planned to be at their house for Thanksgiving, but opted to wait and make the trip just after Christmas.  My sister and her family from Louisiana decided to delay their trip as well so that we could all be there at the same time.  This meant that my parents were going to be “home alone” for the holiday.  Both of them had been in poor health.  I knew that neither of them was going to feel like preparing much food.  What could I do this late in the game to make sure that they had a nice Thanksgiving dinner?

I called the Cullman Chamber of Commerce and asked the pleasant young lady who answered the phone if she knew of any restaurants with delivery service that might be open on Thanksgiving Day.  She told me that practically everything in town would be closed, but she knew of one place that could possibly be of assistance and gave me the phone number for Truffles.

Truffles turned out to be a catering business located in downtown Cullman.  I shared with Amy, one of the co-owners, what I was wanting to do.  As I feared, Truffles was going to be closed on Thanksgiving.  However, since they did make deliveries, I asked Amy if there was any way that she could get some food over to Mom and Dad’s house on Wednesday afternoon so that they could eat the meal on Thursday.  I told her that anything she had on hand would be fine.  Amy hesitated a couple of times during the conversation, and I told her that I completely understood if it just wasn’t going to be possible on such short notice.

What Amy said next totally blew me away.  I’m paraphrasing here, but she said, “I’m hesitating because I’m trying to think of a way that I can make this work.  The business will be closed tomorrow, but I’m going to be cooking for my family anyway, and I really want to make this special for your Mom and Dad.  I would like to deliver a couple of meals to them on Thursday from what I am preparing for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.”  I could hardly believe what she was proposing to do.  As they say in the Deep South, “This lady didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat!”  She didn’t know my parents.  Thanksgiving Day was a day off from her demanding job and a day to spend with her family.  Yet, she was concerned about making it a special day for my family.  This was so incredibly above and beyond what I ever expected; “second mile” service that far exceeded what I could have imagined.  Dad called me about 2:30 the next afternoon to tell me that Amy had just delivered turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and pumpkin pie.  It would prove to be Mom’s last Thanksgiving dinner.  She passed away on September 16 the following year.

I’m grateful for so many things in life, including people with servant hearts and a love for strangers.

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