An unplanned meaningful deed in the car shop

Still about my visit in that car shop — what was I thinking! Did I assume that car repairs always ended in a good car wash? Honestly, I did. Wasn’t it that way in early days? I told the customer service guy that I’d get back my car after the car wash following the repair. He looked at me strangely like I was from another planet. Quite respectfully, however, he said, “Ma’am, it’s not done anymore. Maybe many, many years ago, that was part of our service, though I don’t recall when that stopped.” Oh no, that wasn’t my intent – reveal that I came from the ancient world. Of course, I was dismayed. I wanted to save a trip to the regular car wash.

However, what I got from that repair shop as I spilled out my car woes was remarkable customer service — a respectful listener, a sympathetic look, efficient response, accurate diagnosis, and quick recording on the computer. “Needs oil change and a checkup,” he advised. “OK, I’ll wait,” I said.

After five minutes of transacting, Robert, I’ll call him in this blog, interwove a conversation that began with “How are you doing today?” I replied that since my husband passed, I inherited the new and unfamiliar duty of taking care of the car. He commiserated and related that he and his brother were having the hardest time trying to get over their father’s passing last year, unlike their mom who seemed to be adjusting quite well.

To keep this short – I intimated, their mom is trying her best to stay strong, especially for her children. Robert quickly glanced up from the computer, looked like he was processing a new thought, and tentatively mumbled, “I guess so, I think you’re right.” He mentioned that his brother who lives out of state seldom calls his mom because he and everyone else get the impression that she’s adjusted, doing well or at least is all right. “Tell your brother”, I suggested, “call your mom, at least once a week, or, more often than not. Encourage him to ask her how she’s doing. Believe me, she will be very touched and grateful for that.” Hesitatingly, I added, “ … that’s how I feel when I get a call on the phone, skype or facetime from my son or daughter.” And I ruminated without voicing it… from my grandson, hi Lola is heavenly music to my ears.

Robert said he would call his brother as soon as we finished transacting our business. As I left his desk he did just that. At that moment, it then dawned on me that I performed a random deed, perhaps, the most important goal of my day. It wasn’t the car — it was someone else’s life, it was a family’s love.

Doesn’t that happen to you sometimes, in any circumstance, in any setting, fulfill a simple, meaningful deed spontaneous and unplanned, the true purpose of the moment?

Linda P. Jacob


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