Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Thank You For Doing The Most Important Job

--by wayfarer, posted Feb 17, 2011

I was heading to my writing group yesterday. Standing at the bus stop I decided to run back for a book to read on the journey. (Something I don't normally do.)

While waiting for the bus, I flicked through the pages and found my place. Because it was an old book I didn't want to "dog-ear" the pages, so I searched in my pockets for something to use as a bookmark. All I had was a couple of ten pound notes, so I carefully folded one of them and slipped it between the pages.

Sitting on the bus I took the book out and was about to read but and I was distracted a young woman behind me who was speaking on her cell phone.

She was talking to her brother. She wanted to know where he was, why he wasn't where he was supposed to be, why he had lied to their mother again and did he know that their mum had broken down in tears that morning because of him.

She kept it quiet but she didn't pull any punches with him. She let him know exactly what she thought of him but I could tell there was love under all the disappointment. She tried so hard to get this boy/young man to come see his mother and make it all right, but I got the impression she was fighting a losing battle.

I never looked around. I just stared at the book in my hand - and the ten pound note sticking out of it.

When she left the bus, I got off behind her.

"Excuse me," I said. "Do me a favour, would you? Take this money and buy your mum a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers. And tell her a strange man said that being a mother is the hardest but most important job in the world."

I don't think she knew how to respond to that. As I turned away I heard her softly say, "That's really nice of you."

Walking on, I wondered at the coincidences which put that money there. I wondered if in some way I was saying a thank-you to my own mum. But most off all I hoped I had raised a smile on the face of a mother suffering for her child.

And as for the son ... one day, I'm sure, he'll realise what a blessing a mother really is and what a shame it is to break her heart!

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Readers Comments

bilkis yusuf wrote: Yes mothers are wonderful, cherish them while you have them, their love is pure and unconditional.
HappyDae wrote: I do not believe that going back for your book or find the "bookmarker" was a coincidence. It was given so that you, with such an open heart, could reach out in love to others. Isn't wonderful when we reflect on a beautiful incident such as of being put in the right place at the right time....Just Amazing. Thank you for a most beautiful act of caring. Love and Peace, HappyDae
gelai wrote: Got teary-eyed reading your story. We had quarrel sometimes 'coz she's so hard to me but now that i'm far away from her, i realized how much i miss her, those time we spent with each other.

Thanks for inspiring me! ^_^
oldgirl wrote: Sometimes there are dynamics in a parent- child relationship that others do not know about or understand. I am not sure that being a mother is the hardest but most important job in the world.

I am a mother, wife, daughter, friend and each one of those is very important and at times hard.

But you did a wonderful thing wayfarer and i hope the daughter found something to brighten up her mother's day.
corinne wrote: Thank you for sharing this is indeed lovely. Parents as well as children do take each other for granted. I am blessed with my two boys. I once heard someone say gratitute is a delicacy.
godwin kinfgsley wrote: The best thing in life is to know how important our parent are to us,thank you for this story. At least i will go back and look after my own mummy. God bless you.
Tristan wrote: Thanks, ganoba, for those good thoughts. Yes, wondering, how old was the son and why did he lie? The mother's and sister's emotions seem natural and may be helpful, or they may be emotional self-indulgence without any real care for where the brother is at in his heart. Or. Lots of important details unknown in this possibly complicated story.

Is being a mother really the hardest job in the world, when it comes with so much emotional reward? Or is this emotional hype, with a basis of some substance, of course? How about working with the sick&dying or bipolars & schizophrenics. Might that be harder?
prasanna wrote: It is rightly said, "a mother only tack care of 4-5-6 kids alone, but all put to gather no group of kids or grown ups can ever take care of a mother.
Tristan wrote: Most mothers are such a blessing, a warm base in a shifting existence. Also noticed tho how most of them don't even recognize the existence of the who in their children barely at all. They just follow their automatic maternal instincts to nurture and protect. My mother has done so much for me, and i always try to look out for ways to show her some care, but as far as caring for myself now goes, i would prefer not to be subjected to her blind auto-care anymore.
Ruth wrote: I was blessed by reading this today.

Tristan, i felt sad for you after reading that last line in your comment, but i do understand on some level, too.

I have a son who is lost to me because he
Didn't want anything more from me. Sad.

Have a blessed day everyone!

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