In case you haven’t heard (because I only mention it every 15 minutes or so), I won a car on “The Price is Right.”
I wish everyone could have something happen in their lives that brings them the pure joy that this surreal experience brought me.
Patt Jackson, of Duluth, Minn., had something happen to her recently that was outside of her wildest dreams and brought her that cloud nine feeling thanks to kindness.
“Last Friday, I was having my morning coffee and reading your column online about how you won a car. Congratulations!
"It got me to thinking about my own car, which is almost always on my mind. It's a 2004 model with 235,000 miles. Every week it seems to need a new repair.
"I cannot afford a new one, and I know if I buy another used car, I'll probably end up putting too much money into it, as I did with the last one. So I keep driving it and hoping for the best, but also setting money aside for repairs.
"That very afternoon I got a call from an elderly friend that I've been helping out for the past five years. She has no family nearby, had suffered a stroke (which is how I met her) and occasionally needs rides to the doctor, or just needs to get out of the house.
"We have had some amazing adventures in my car, including one episode where we came off a freeway and discovered my brakes were gone. I pulled the emergency brake and we gently slowed to a stop. I believe someone ‘up there’ is looking out for us.
"Anyway, my friend invited me over for coffee. This is usually a slightly veiled request for help of some kind, which I do not mind. When I got to her apartment and we were enjoying coffee, she handed me an envelope from her bank and asked me to open it. I assumed she had received something in the mail that she did not understand, which happens easily.
"Inside was a check made out for a very large amount, in my name. Very large. Large enough for me to purchase a new car. My friend said she wanted to do this before she died, and she didn't care what I did with it as long as I didn't give it away.
"I was struck dumb for a change. I could not even think of words to say to her. It is the most magnanimous thing anyone has done for me, ever.
"Right now the money is in savings. I like looking at it. But of course, a newer car is in my future, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Amazing, isn't it?"
It is amazing! I’d be willing to bet that the elderly woman who gave Patt the check felt just as good about giving it as Patt felt about receiving it. Kindness is cool like that.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Athens, Ohio, with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.