This story has its true beginnings in the everyday sort of kindness Barb bestowed on members of her own family over the years. She very kindly put aside her nursing career to be a stay-at-home mom for her three children. One can only imagine the tender loving kindness she showed her children caring for them while they grew into adolescence. Then, one day, they were old enough for her to resume nursing. It was just another way for Barb to show kindness to others with her caring touch and nurses training.
Now Barb is older and doesn’t mind admitting to being 87 years young. She’s no longer working as a nurse, but she still lives in her own house just where her neighbors want her to stay. She said they help out with acts of kindness to help keep her independent. She also wanted to share the story of her visit to the Loveland office of the Ohio State Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to renew her driver’s license about two months ago.
“I was so touched,” said Wendlandt.
When she arrived in the parking lot in front of the BMV on Loveland-Madeira Road and parked her car, there were people in line outside the door there. It seems they saw her exit her car a bit of a walking distance from the main door. Barb Wendlandt walks with a cane. Again, she even admits a walker may be in her near future but, for now, a cane is sufficient for her to get around.
“I had to pull in and I parked past the station and I pulled into a handicapped spot,” Wendlandt explained. “I was approaching; there had to be nine or ten people in line. I didn’t count, but it was at least nine.”
Well, when she made her way to the line, the person at the back of the line offered to let her go ahead. In fact, everyone in line offered to let her go all the way to the front without waiting. This woman, who has spent her whole life being kind to others, tried to decline.
“Thanks, but I can’t go ahead,” she told them as they insisted it was okay to go ahead. “I’m fine, but I’m 87 and I have a lot of arthritis. Thank you, but I’ll go to the end of the line. It’s not okay. Three people yelled from the back of the line ‘Yes it is okay, you go ahead.’ I was so touched by that. I actually cried a little.”
Barb says part of the reason she cried is she hates that she needs the help. Her mindset is “I help people, people don’t help me.” which she attributes to the years of nursing and caring for family.
Finally, bypassing everyone in line, Barb got inside the door. No surprise what happened next. She tells the girl inside to let her sit while the others go ahead.
“No, they wanted you to come in front of them,” said the BMV clerk, “you’re gonna go.”
Barb finally did go ahead and got her license renewed. And so it was on a September afternoon in Loveland, kindness returned to Barb Wendlandt in a most simple gesture by a group of people allowing her to move ahead without waiting.
“As I was leaving, I stood in the middle of the room and I raised my hand and I said Thank you all so much, I really appreciate it,” Wendlandt said. “They all said ‘That’s fine, have a good day.’ I was so touched. You know we don’t hear too many good stories anymore. All I want to do is thank those people in Loveland for their kindness.”
There you go Barb, thank you for sharing a good story of kindness returned.