My name is Bryan
You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of
the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed
So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was
still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his
face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or
so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe, he looked poor and
hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in
the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can
put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't you wait
in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan. Well, all
she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough.
Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack,
skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the
tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening
up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him.
She told him that she was from St.Louis and was only just passing
through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. She asked him how much she
owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her.
She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened
had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about the money.
This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God
knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past...He had
lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any
other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the
next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person
the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added "...and think of me".
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold
and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home,
disappearing into the twilight. A few miles down the road the lady
saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take home.
It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps.
The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the
telephone of an out of work actor-it didn't ring much. Her waitress
came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had
a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day
couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight
months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her
attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could
be so giving to a stranger.
Then she remembered Bryan. After the lady finished her meal, and the
waitress went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, the lady
slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress
came back. She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed
something written on the napkin under which was 4 $100 bills.
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote. It
said: "You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once
helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me
back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you."
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to
serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when
she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about
the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known
how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month,
it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband was, and as
he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered
soft and low, everything's gonna be all right; I love you, Bryan."