The Beautiful Moments

Helen Tio       ・69               Toronto

The Story Of A Dime

My husband lost his father at age five and lived in poverty when he was growing up in Indonesia. At age 21, he got a scholarship to study in Germany. His brother managed to buy him an one way plane ticket but had no money for him to bring along, not even some pocket change.

While he was waiting for flight transfer in Bangkok Airport he found an urge to void. To his surprise a dime was required to pay for the use of the washroom. He knew he had not a single dime. What should be done? He searched into his carrying case and took out his most treasured stamp collection album. He hoped he could sell one or some for a dime he needed badly.

A l-o-n-g period passed, perhaps 15 minutes, no one was interested. The time was getting close for boarding the plane he was waiting for. He saw an older, kind looking European lady about 50 steps away. With his pelvic muscle squeezed and with slight foot steps he walked towards her and started his sale pitch.

:Why on earth you want to sell stamps here, young man?; the lady asked.

He explained his urgency and the lady quickly reached into her purse and gave him a dime. He thanked her many times and dashed to the washroom. You can believe this is the most unforgettable :RELIEF; he experienced in his life!


The Story of Two Quarters

Many years ago we lived in Agincourt close to the No frills super market at Kennedy Road and Sheppard Ave East. It was then called Loblaws. One day I went shopping there and my two sons aged 7 and 3 came along. After the shopping was done we lined up to pay. The boys were attracted by the candies and the bubble gums on the display racks at the cashier counter. Swiftly they squeezed their ways right to the candy rack.

By the gesture they were pointing their fingers to this one and that one, the two brothers must be discussing which was the best bubble gum to buy if they had the money. Somehow their giggling and funny talks drew the attention of a lady in her 50s who was also in the line-up, right behind them. Her smile turned into laughter by listening to my two boys・ conversation. Soon the cashier had finished totalling up her grocery. She paid and out of the change she gave one quarter to each of my sons. Holding the quarter, they were delighted, jaws dropped, mouths wide open, which soon changed into big smiles, forgetting those missing front teeth the 7 years old just lost a few days ago. With glittering eyes they looked at the lady and then turned to look at me. I understood that they needed my approval. I signalled them to say .thank you・ to the lady. They did that and then pointed their fingers on the bubble gum they wanted to buy. I nodded my head. They must feel that was their darn good lucky day.

The lady was still standing there enjoying the excitement and the cheerfulness that my two boys had just received. Her face also displayed the sense of satisfaction - the contentment that she brought about with simply two quarters!