“Thorns have Roses.” A true story of kindness.


My amazing sister shared the following true story about herself with me a few years ago. I felt compelled to reprise it after my last blog, “Get involved, be positive, use loving words and be kind.” My sister spreads love and kindness the best way she knows how, through her empathy, her compassion and her exceptional listening skills. And the story unfolds…

Thorns have Roses

I was driving home after a long day, which included a full day at work, then packing items to donate to the Salvation Army from the condo (my new husband’s former residence) after work. I haven’t even had dinner, yet, all of which has been adding to an overwhelming, demanding month. 

As I was exiting off the interstate highway onto Old St Augustine Rd, I was able to see that the light at the bottom of the exit was still green. However, I slowed down a bit anyway to be safe, as well as, to make sure the intersection was still free and clear of traffic. Although the light was still green as I approached, I did not feel comfortable rushing through this intersection (which crosses over 6 lanes). The light started to change to yellow when I got to the light, so I stopped.

I was the only car in sight until a white Mercedes SUV pulled up to the left of me. I casually glanced over and noticed the driver, a lady, was alone and crying.  I immediately wanted to console her, but I did not want to get out of my car, scare her, or get hurt myself at this intersection. So, I decided I would follow her and to my pleasant surprise she was headed in the same direction to my home. She turned onto Old River Road and then turned into Lowe’s, which was on my route. I decided I would follow her into the parking lot.

I was certain she knew I was behind her; therefore, when she parked, I deliberately parked a full row away so she wouldn’t fear I was a stalker. I waited a few minutes and observed she was still in her SUV crying. I got out and approached her vehicle. I let her know that I noticed she was crying, I didn’t want her to be alone, and asked if she would like to talk about it. She initially attempted to minimize her situation. She remarked that it was some medical issues and after seeing a little girl in a wheel chair, she felt that she shouldn’t be feeling sorry for herself.  I told her that she had every right to feel sad and grieve about the any medical complications she now has.

She asked me, “Where did you come from? Where are your wings and halo, angel?”  I did inform her I was wearing a white shirt and we both chuckled. She said she needed to buy plants at Lowe’s to fill up empty pots on the patio of her horse farmhouse in Jacksonville that she has been trying to sell for the past 6 months; and, the real estate agents were coming through with brokers the next day.

She explained that she was currently renting a place in Ocala to be closer to her daughter and to her horseback riding coach.  She said she already did some “shopping therapy,” but still needed to buy flowers. I told her I could shop with her because I needed to find plants for my two empty flower beds in front of my house. She asked me my name and I said, “Monique” and found out she was, “Liz”. Then she thanked me and asked if she could give me a hug. We made small talk about flowers and shared a few positive stories. A Lowe’s sales person asked if we needed any help and I asked (for Liz) what type of plants would do well in direct sun and could survive without daily watering (since Liz informed me that she would not be in Jacksonville to water or nurture her plants).  He recommended, “knock out roses” and Liz remembered them as being a suitable option, as well.

When Liz went to make her large purchase, that same sales person was now at the cash register and he asked, “how did you get roped into this?” When Liz attempted to share the story that I was a friendly stranger who saw her crying, he ignored it, laughed, and thought Liz was joking. He viewed us as close friends instead of God’s children brought together by circumstances (and synchronicity). Liz asked me where I was parked and I showed her as I explained that I didn’t want to scare her or allow her to believe that she was being stalked. She smiled, walked to my car, and placed the beautiful “knock out rose” plant on the hood of my car and said, “when my life felt like thorns YOU were the rose.”

I thanked her through my tears and told her she helped me too!  She did not know it, but when I had been so emotional about my life, it really helped ME to step outside myself and just be extremely grateful for all the blessings I truly have!!  We parted only knowing eachother’s first name and that we were brought together at that very moment in time for a reason larger than ourselves.

This story touched my heart when my sister relayed it to me, especially the last line: “…we were brought together at that very moment for a reason larger than ourselves.” That reason is LOVE! Love is all about how we act, react and connect in the world, particularly with people we do not know. Love is about caring enough to get involved, being true to our heart, being open and honest, generous and kind, compassionate and authentic. My sister is truly an amazing woman!

All rights reserved. ©2016 by A.K. Orobko


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