Graduation is a time of celebration. This year many accomplished young men and women received their diplomas, and their families couldn’t be more proud of them. One dad, in particular, was thrilled to see his son’s graduation.
Rob Edwards lives with his son in Florida, and last month was his son’s big graduation day. Of course, the boy was happy, but perhaps not as much as his father was. Rob was so proud of his son, Cole, that he found himself sharing the exciting news with perfect strangers. He never could have expected the reaction he received.
Just before the graduation ceremony, Rob needed to conduct some business at his local bank. He happened to be walking into the building at the same time as a woman, so he held the door open for her. Once the two were inside the woman waited for Rob to enter the line ahead of her, but he insisted that she go first.
“I said, ‘By all means go in front of me,’” the proud father shared with FaithTap. “‘Today my son graduates. I’m slowing down and want to savor every minute.’”
So the woman took her place in line in front of him. As they waited for the next available bank tellers, the two got to talking. Their polite chatter shifted from discussions about their days to the difficulties of raising a teenager. When a teller became available, the woman walked up to the counter.
Next, it was Rob’s turn to be helped. As he approached the teller’s booth, he looked down to where his wallet had been sitting. That’s when he discovered something shocking: an envelope sat there, waiting for him to open it.
Of course, the man had not walked in with any envelopes, so he was perplexed when he saw that little white container holding a mystery inside. Just then, the stranger he had recently met walked past him.
“Congratulations!” she exclaimed. “I’m so happy for you.” Rob was startled by the message, but he continued his business with the teller. It wasn’t until the transaction was complete that he opened the mysterious envelope. What he found hidden inside took him by complete surprise.
There sat a crisp $50 bill, fresh from the very bank he was standing in. Without hesitation Rob rushed outside to find the woman who had given it to him.
She was sitting in her car when he spotted her. Rob explained that he couldn’t take the money from her and tried to give it back; the woman refused. He would never forget the words she said next:
“When you talk about your boy, YOU GLOW. You’re a blessing to him, I want to bless him, too!”
Rob was touched. This total stranger didn’t know anything about him or his son, but she wanted to share the joy that she felt when Rob talked about Cole. He knew he had to tell this story, to spread the message about this kind heart that had brought him such an unexpected blessing.
“I don’t know her name; I’ve never seen her before. But I will never forget her love,” the dad declared. “I asked to take a picture with her. And hugged her neck.”
“We need more of this in the world today. Not the money. But kindness. I hugged a complete stranger today. My son who I love with all my heart was shown love. Many of you who know me know what I believe in. Sounds kinda familiar don’t it. It warms the father’s heart to love the son. I am blessed.”
Cole is certainly fortunate to have a father who is so proud of his success and who is grateful for the kindness he is shown. This young man has grown up with an excellent role model who has shown him the immense value of connecting with others.
It is heartwarming to hear of people who hold so much compassion and kindness. Cole has already made his father proud, and he will continue to do so in his future endeavors. We hope he will always be open to sharing a word with a stranger.