Meredith Yarrow was upset. The single mom worked a late shift but never managed to sleep past 6:00 am because of the garbage collectors! “Shut up!” she screamed out of her window. “People are trying to sleep!”
“Sorry, Ma’am,” the trash man said. “We’re just doing our job!” Meredith scowled at him and slammed her window shut. The man emptied the heavy trash cans into the back of the truck.
“Disgusting,” Meredith said. “I’m going to make a complaint!”
She never imagined that very soon she’d be very grateful to the young man she’d just been screaming at.
A week later, Meredith woke to the sound of the trashman once again. She got up, grumbling, and headed for the bathroom, but on her way there, she started feeling dizzy and nauseous and broke into a cold sweat.
“Wendy!” Meredith cried, calling for her seven-year-old daughter. “Wendy, help me!” By the time Wendy got up and reached her, Meredith was lying on the floor.
“Get help,” she whispered to her daughter. “Get help!” The little girl looked at her big strong mom lying on the floor and started crying. “Be brave,” Meredith said. “Please, honey…”
And that was all that Meredith remembered. When she woke up, she was in the hospital, and a doctor was hovering over her. “Wendy,” she gasped. “Where is my daughter?”
“Your daughter is fine,” the doctor said gently. “You need to rest. Your blood pressure is dangerously high.” He fiddled with a syringe, and before she knew it, Meredith was fading back into unconsciousness.
When she woke up again, she felt much better. The doctor told her she could go home but had to take it easy and start on high-blood pressure medication.
“Avoid stress,” the doctor told her. “Sleep, eat, and spend time with your daughter!”
“My life is all about stress, doc!” she said. “What can I do? I don’t even know who is looking after my daughter!”
A very anxious Meredith caught an Uber home. At least the house was still standing, she told herself. She opened the door, and Wendy came running to hug her. “Mommy!” she cried happily. “You’re home!”
“Oh, honey,” Meredith cried. “I was so worried about you!”
“It’s okay, mom,” Wendy said. “Jason took care of me.”
“Jason?” Meredith asked. “Who is Jason?”
Wendy pointed, and she saw a tall man standing in the hallway, looking shy. “That’s Jason,” Wendy said. “He’s my friend.” Jason looked familiar, but Meredith couldn’t quite place him.
“Hello,” she said politely. “Nice to meet you, and thank you for looking after Wendy. How do you know my daughter?”
“Oh, mommy,” Wendy cried. “Don’t you remember? You told me to get help, so I went outside and screamed, and Jason was there! He came in and helped you and called 911.”
“You’re a neighbor?” asked Meredith.
“No,” Jason said and grinned. He didn’t look so shy; he looked very attractive. “I’m your neighborhood trashman!”
Meredith blushed. “Oh!” she whispered. “You’re the one I always shout at!”
“You have to see what Jason did, mommy!” Wendy cried and grabbed Meredith’s hand. She dragged her mom past the living room and into her bedroom,
Meredith couldn’t believe her eyes! Her house was spotlessly clean and tidy! The real eye-opener was Wendy’s room! Jason had put up pretty shelves for Wendy’s toys strung with fairy lights!
Everything looked amazing! “Jason made dinner too, mommy,” said Wendy. “He’s a good cook.”
Now it was Jason’s turn to blush. “Just helping out,” he mumbled.
“Thank you,” Meredith said. “It means a lot to me. Wendy and I have no family in town, so I was worried about her…Thank you for being our friend when I was so rude to you!”
Jason and Meredith are now great friends, and when the truck comes around at 6:00 am, she doesn’t yell out of the window anymore. She comes out with two cups of coffee for Jason and his coworker.
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t judge people by their profession; we are all essential. Meredith was constantly angry because of the garbage collector’s noise until she realized how valuable they were.
An act of kindness can change someone’s life. Jason’s willingness to help Wendy and Meredith changed their lives — and his — for the better.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a teacher who hears one of his pupils mock a girl whose father is a garbage collector and decides to teach him and his father a lesson.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story