The last time I witnessed this phenomenon was 32 years ago at my Grandma's funeral, which took place in the same country town. I didn't expect to see people still pull over to show they cared in this day and age, where everyone is in a rush to get to where they need to be. Tears streamed down my face with each driver I saw pulled over, most of them in pick up trucks.
I thought about my own life and how busy it is, every time I get in a car I'm in a hurry. I have places to go and things to do. These people did too and yet, they still pulled over to show they cared and I felt it deeply. My brother and I wept as we passed vehicle after vehicle pulled over to the side of the road to pay their respects. They didn't know my Grandpa and they didn't know us, but that didn't stop them from feeling for what we were going through.
It made me look inward. Was I that kind of person? Do I put others first? Do I stop when someone is in need? Do I notice the person behind me and keep the door open for them? Do I observe others and their daily struggles and do something that shows I care?
I realized my personal struggle to reach out to others was one of fear. I feared I wouldn't say the right thing, or that they would reject my help and I would feel dumb or I would do something that offended them or they would cling on to me so tightly they would suck the life out of me. So to be safe...in many instances... I did nothing. But I learned doing nothing helps no one. We have to step out of our comfort zone and step into the shoes of another and feel what they are feeling to know better how to help each other.
My heart was touched over and over with the kind gestures I witnessed with my Grandpa's passing. The flowers sent by loved ones, seeing my cousins Scott/ Carolyn & Karen's name made me cry. It wasn't their Grandpa who died, but that didn't stop them from showing they cared. My friends, Julie and Debbie who drove from OKC to be there, it wasn't convenient they had to hurry back to their jobs right after the funeral, but they came anyway to pay their respects. To the ward members, friends, Edna Mae, & the senior missionary couple who stopped by and brought meals- it meant a lot. To my Mom, cousins and siblings, they all had to take time off work, make arrangements for their families while they were gone, not to mention the cost, they still came. And I cried when I heard about my cousin Susan who came and spent the last days with him, playing her guitar and singing by his bedside. And my cousin Liz who couldn't come but spent hours writing the most beautiful and fitting eulogy for Grandpa. And to Steve, who spent the week at his sister's to give us his house so we could all be together. And to the one arm bandit- a famous cousin who performs the rodeo circuit, who stopped by from his busy schedule to come over and make us laugh and celebrate life. They cared and I know it... because they showed it. May I do likewise.