A Random Act of Kindness

Date: March 27th, 2011

Time: 8:30 PM

Status: Observing a Random Act of Kindness

Info: I just finished watching the weekly news magazine 60 Minutes. One of the pieces profiled Bobby Hurley, Sr, the basketball coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, NJ. He is recognized for compiling 24 state championships, more than 1000 wins in his 39 years at the high school level and turning down multiple offers from the collegiate level to advance his craft. Hurley is one of those people who come along in our lives every decade or so and it’s refreshing when 60 Minutes takes the time to identify with him. He’s “that” guy who brings his “A” game to work with him each and every day. We all know a person like this. Perhaps it’s your mom, your dad, your brother, your wife, your neighbor … hell, if you’re extremely lucky maybe it’s even the one who signs your paycheck.

I write two blogs concurrent with each other. One is about my wife and our struggles with becoming the next breast cancer survivor you’re going to love to hug and provide wishes upon and the other is about our adopted bundle of bulldog; LuLu. Reading these blogs you can find the affection I have for these two extremely important parts of my life and I do enjoy sharing my thoughts about each of them with all of you.

Each blog is written internally throughout the day and often times there are triggers that provide me with the beginning. Breast cancer hardly needs this type of stimulus as the disease itself is laden with information; good, bad, or promising, and with the Lu-dog these triggers come from her antics, her love for the lazy, and the gratitude she shows us she’d rather be nowhere else than right where she is regardless of the weather.

This weekend I saw something extraordinary that belongs in neither blog but I wanted to share with all of you because I’m always looking for that idea that will give you a thrill to read and it happened just feet from where I was sitting. Logan and I snuck out for a quiet father and daughter breakfast this past Saturday morning. LuLu was being pampered at the spa and during this interim we relaxed at our favorite breakfast restaurant; Marvin’s, right along Petaluma Blvd. Marvin’s provides a full-service menu, their breakfast ranges from candied waffles to linquica and eggs made to order. The staff there hustles in a whirling array with coffee, water, menus, and smiles. I could care less the wallpaper border talks to the 1950’s, that whoever hung that picture above the kitchen was either Kareem Abdul Jabaar or someone without any sense of how to hang a picture where you don’t have to strain your neck to look at it. You come to Marvin’s for the service, the food, the local flavor and after what I witnessed it will always have a special place in my heart.

Marvin’s is equipped with some low riding bar stools bolted into the floor and there are two at the end of the bar that provide very little wing span, if you know what I mean. Logan chose the stool at the end and our favorite waiter greeted us with that million dollar smile. Without speaking her smile tells you “welcome, you’re in good hands and we’re happy to see you again.” Logan and I talked, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. To my left was a homeless man who has clearly traveled a rougher road than I’ve ever considered and has done so for a great many years. I’d speculate to say he’s around 60 years old and sat down with the morning paper. He received the same smile from the waitress upon seating and then it happened. I heard the waitress lean in and whisper “Joe, whatever you want, don’t worry about paying.” I could tell Joe was touched and his reaction indicated he either did not expect this and he did not appear to be the type of guy that would abuse it. His order of French toast, eggs and bacon appeared after Logan and I were wrapping things up and I felt so blessed to witness that “random act of kindness.” I am sure this is not standard practice for Marvin’s or any other eatery and I’m almost positive the waitress paid for Joe’s meal out of her pocket. Thinking back on it – I should have paid for Joe’s breakfast myself. Based on Joe’s age I’m sure he fought in Korea and possibly Viet Nam and our waitress more than likely knows his sad story. The light she provided gave me pause and gave me the trigger I needed to pen this heartfelt moment right here in downtown Petaluma. I knew I loved this town, I knew I loved eating at Marvin’s and now I know why.

Do something nice for that person who brings their “A” game into your life. Being the spouse of a breast cancer survivor I can tell you how special it feels when we open a card, receive flowers or even answer the phone to hear your voice. Random acts of kindness need not be only something illustrated on a bumper sticker.

Keep her close you guys.




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