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Pay it Forward Plus

Here is “Part II” of last weekend. To view part one, go to my blog
and check out How I Ran Out of Gas entry:

So there we were all getting out of the van.

Two girls in my arms and my oldest to the right of me…
as traffic was blazing past on the left.

We took no more than 5 steps and then we saw
an older mini-van pull off to the side of the road.

The van then began going in reverse. Coming
to us. Wow. Imagine that.

How lucky are we!

Quick flashes of stranger danger flew
through my mind. Who is this person. Can I trust him/her
to take us into his car.

Then they vanished when I saw the kind eyes of the driver
once he rolled down his window.
You can tell a lot by looking into someone’s eyes.

I wont go into the details of the story. But what transpired
was an amazing connection with a Methodist minister named Gabe,
his wife and family.

Of all the people blitzing past. Here was an amazing
african-american man who was as nice as the sun is warm.
I felt like I had known him my entire life. At least that is how
he treated me and my girls. Even with being somewhat uncomfortable
around a total stranger.

Gabe and company were while travleing from
North Dakota to Cleveland to be with friends and family.
They were late for a party yet saw a father with three girls
and thought to take a risk to help this stranger out.

He told me later that he thought he could trust a Dad walking
with young three girls.

I am forever grateful he did.

And when I asked him how I could repay him … he would not accept any amount
of monetary means … he said, “Pay it forward, Vince.”

Later, when I asked again, “Make sure to go to church.”

“Will do, Gabe.”

Once we were back in the van and on the road again, Sophia and I talked about
our new friends. Thats what I called Gabe and she followed suit.

“Does your friend, Gabe help many people out like he did us”

“Yes, Sophia – he does – in more ways than one.”

To me, Gabe was heavenly sent.

To Gabe, I was an opportunity to show how much people
in this world care about each other.
He is walking the walk of what he is here to do.

So I will heed Gabe’s message and also pass it along to you.

Pay it Forward, my friend. The random acts of kindness that is.
Even if its not giving a lift to a family in need.
Whatever it is. Do it with no strings attached just
as Gabe did it for us.

I know I am.

Thanks Gabe where ever you are! You are an inspiration
to me and my family.

On the ride back from my parents we saw a
policeman had pulled over a car. We were not sure
if the guy was getting a ticket. Or if he was stranded.

Although tired, hungry and needed to use the potty, Sophia said,
“Dad we HAVE to help those people out.”

“You are on the right page Sophia. However, that policeman is
taking care of them – so we’ll keep our eyes open for the next one.”

I was SUPER thankful this past weekend. I hope you were as well.


Vince Palko

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Sylvania, OH 43560
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