Posted by: Mary Crocco | November 5, 2015

Unexpected Surprise

Nov.5,2015 iphone 592

People talk about acts of kindness. News stories report inspirational occurrences all the time, but I never thought during a business email of only a few words that I would inspire a total stranger.

A persistent knock at my front door woke me from a solid ten hour slumber. Rarely hearing the sound while sleeping, I staggered out to the dining room and peeked through the blinds to see a delivery man at my door. Puzzled when I saw a beautiful flower arrangement in his hands, I knocked on the window telling him I’d be right there.
Not wanting to delay the man’s schedule, I decided to open the door without looking in the mirror first. I knew it would take more than a minute to look presentable. I grabbed my sweater from the edge of the couch, wrapped it around my wrinkled nightgown, and hoped I wouldn’t scar the man for life. I opened the door and he handed me a purple vase filled with an assortment of colorful flowers, asked for my signature, and sped off while repeating the mandatory greeting to have a nice day.
Placing the surprise gift on my kitchen table, I stood back and stared at it for a few minutes. I thought, “I know I suffer from chemo brain, but c’mon, it’s not my birthday, not a holiday, it’s no special occasion at all, or is it? (I find second guessing myself normal daily behavior.) Who would send such a thoughtful unexpected surprise?”

I studied the calendar on the counter, filled with doctor appointments, and recognized Thanksgiving as the only logical reason for such a delivery. I scratched my head. That’s three weeks away.
Turning the arrangement around I spotted the card hiding among the flowers. The name and address of the florist didn’t ring a bell, and it was located across the valley. Weird. Opening the card it read – You’re an inspiration. We hope these brighten up your day!
What the hell – inspiration? Considering I enjoyed a movie and dinner with a friend last night, but she wouldn’t send flowers. Dated a guy twice recently, but was certain he didn’t know my address. Looking closer at the card, it included a phone number under my name and address, but it wasn’t mine. Thrilled I could solve the mystery, I called the number.
A woman answered, “iOttie, Brittany speaking, may I help you?”
I didn’t catch the words, so I asked, “Who is this?”
“iOttie.” { }
Not having the slightest idea who or what was an iOttie, I said, “I received a floral arrangement and this number was on the card.”
“Oh yes, that was from me,” the woman sounded young and cheery.
“Who is this?” I repeated, feeling foolish.
“This is Brittany; you reviewed an iPhone iTap Magnetic Vent Mount for your vehicle. You told me a little bit about what you’re going through when the package almost wasn’t delivered because I forgot to include your unit number.”
The review and the email conversations bounced back. “Oh right, your name is Beverly?”
“Ha, I was close,” I laughed from nerves.
Brittany laughed back and said, “Yes, you were close.”
“Brittany, I don’t understand,” I began, as she cut me off.
“You have such a positive attitude. You inspired me. I wanted the flowers to brighten your day.”
Our short email conversations quickly ran through my mind. I recalled Brittany’s inquiry and explained if it weren’t for my monthly CML chemo deliveries by the same FedEx guy; another employee would not attempt a delivery.
Shocked, I said, “Brittany, this is so nice. Such a surprise, I can’t believe you sent me a gift. I love the flowers. They’re beautiful. And yes, you certainly did make my day.”
“I’m glad. You are an inspiration. I’m happy you like the flowers.”
“I love them, and I can’t thank you enough. I’m still in shock and speechless. Thank you again for your thoughtful words and gift.”
“You’re welcome. Good bye Mary.”
“Good bye Brittany.”

With this extraordinary act of kindness from a stranger in cyber space, I’ve learned how powerful words can be. A couple of sentences moved a total stranger to reach out and communicate sending an unexpected surprise to brighten my day. Sometimes Living with CML is amazing!

Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment! 🙂



  1. You are an inspiration lovely Mary.

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