You never know who you will come across on an ordinary day.

An Unexpected Tuesday Night

You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.

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It was a typical summer day for me. I woke up this morning, had some breakfast, and took a shower. The hot, summer sun was beaming down on my backyard at around 12 P.M.

I sat outside tanning, listening to music, and socializing with my friend. I laughed, I smiled, I was perfectly content.

Hours went by, it was time to get ready for work. I showered, got dressed, and ate an amazing home-cooked meal my mom had prepared.

Off to work I go. The night dragged on, and I could not wait to lay down in bed and eat a second dinner when I got home.

After closing the store, I decided I wanted a 4 for $4 at Wendy's for my second dinner. I never thought I would be faced with an unexpected situation tonight.

Her watery, doleful eyes caught my attention when I approached the drive-through window. When I looked beyond my car windshield, I was surprised to see 4 young children sitting on the curb. A newborn was being watched by 3 young children.

My face had a puzzled expression, I was unsure of the situation, and I did not even know who the children belonged to. But one thing was for sure, I would never forget the look in this woman's eyes.

I could almost feel the sadness and pain in my own.

She told me my total and then began to cry and ask if I had any extra change for her children to eat because she was unable to find a babysitter and she had to work double shifts with different jobs. McDonald's 10-4 Wendy's from 5-12, and the Wendy's inside closed at 10 P.M. Her children we unable to sit in the closed restaurant.

She expressed that she is unable to work at many jobs due to her past, but she is trying her hardest to feed her children every night.

Now, I know a lot of people in this world may disagree and say that people could be lying or she could've gotten into this mess herself. However, I could not walk away doing nothing.

I told her to add three more 4 for $4 orders for her children and I gave her $20 to put in her pocket.

No matter what the circumstance was, I had a special space in my heart for these children. This newborn was on a curb outside of Wendy's being watched by young children. All starving, all tired, all sad.

Their mother was occasionally trying to peep her head out of the drive-through window just to check on them. Anything could happen to them. They were unable to sit in the car unattended.

I know $20 and buying them Wendy's may not change their entire situation, but in 30 seconds of handing these children food, their frowns turned totally upside down. It was mind-blowing.

Those watery, doleful eyes caught my attention across the parking lot as I headed back home.

My heart felt full, I felt the sincerity.

I do hope that woman safely got her children home wherever that may be. I was feeling content knowing their stomachs were full for at least tonight.

If there is one thing I want everyone reading this to take away, is the unexpected events you may face at the most random times of your life.

I do believe I made the best decision to help this family out without knowing much about their situation. I could not drive away in silence after those watery, doleful eyes pierced my heart.

I hope this family goes to sleep under one roof and this mother hugs her children tight. She deserves to close her eyes in peace tonight.

Thank you God. My life is blessed.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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