Several months ago, the young women who cuts my hair was telling about her carpal tunnel issues, they all revolve around the fact that she is short and works with her hands above her shoulders cutting hair all day. She finally had to get a cortisone shot in her wrist to keep working. Over the next several visits we talked about how this was working for her. She told me she felt so much better.
So we went back to our usual banter. I always ask about her boys, she has two little ones, and we compare notes on how I raised my two little monsters. I always felt like I needed to support her, as she is a single mom (divorced) and working at a relatively lower paying job. I always tip her well – usually in cash so she doesn’t “have to” report it it she needs it. Then about a month ago, she calls me to ask if she can move my Tuesday appointment back two days. No problem.
When I get there, she has her wrist strap back on and looks wiped out. She tells me that the first shot has worn off and that she had to get a second one, that was why she moved my appointment. Six months did not seem like a long time. So I asked her if this was going to be the norm for her, going every six months for a shot. No. she will need surgery after this.
So fast forward to yesterday. I have an appointment for a haircut, it’s her last one on Friday night. I have decided I will pay her forward and come prepared. While I’m in the chair, I ask her if she has scheduled the surgery. She is waiting to see if she will qualify for ObamaCare and then will put it off until the summer, when her boys are out of school. She can’t afford the surgery, daycare and the 3-month of no work.
We move to the payment portion of the haircut. I always use my debt card, so we are over my the machine – away from the other girls and I tell her I have to something to tell her. I hand her the envelope and tell her to tuck it away for her needs after she gets her wrist repaired. It really was a small amount for me, since I’ve gotten out from under most of my debt – I have been blessed. Time to share my good fortune.
Later in the evening I got a text from her thanking me and telling how I will never know how much she appreciates my “generous” gift. What she may never know how human it makes one feel to give and help those who haven’t asked.