Documents
Pictures
Videos
Forum
 
 

An Act of Kindness in 1988


An Act of Kindness in 1988

ÅSGÅRDSTRAND (VG): Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her.

Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988.

At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. 

When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness: "You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway, the man behind the counter said."

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.  "I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions," says Mary.

Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.  "I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do. Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, 'That’s OK, I’ll pay for her.'"

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before. "He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. The first thing I thought was, 'Who is this man?'"

  

Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man.  "He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants," says Mary.  She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

The piece of paper said ‘Barack Obama’ and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out.

"He was my knight in shining armor," says Mary, smiling.

She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

In the spring of 2006 Mary’s parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

In a letter to Mary’s parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped ‘United States Senate, Washington DC’, Barack Obama writes: "I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I’m happy I could help back then, and I’m delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator"

The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

This week [we] met her and her husband in the café that she runs with her friend Lisbeth Tollefsrud in Åsgårdstrand.  "It’s amazing to think that the man who helped me 20 years ago could become the next US president," says Mary delightedly.

[Originally printed in VG newspaper in Norway; translated by Leisha Camden.]



Author: beastly # CusoVifa88
International2012-08-16
-
 50%  ( 2 people voted )
+

Name:

What is tripcode?
A tripcode is a hashed password, by which you can be identified by others. This does not require registration and you will be still anonymous. Password is not stored on the server.
Tripcode:
(recommended)
What is this?
Anti-spam protection against robots. Please write this two numbers in decimal form.
fou   tw
(write in decimal)

By submitting this form, I Agree to the Terms and Conditions. Click here for whole text of Service Agreement.

Optional URL of video, picture or google map:








Best of week
Most Popular

20 Things You Should Say More Often


20 Things You Should Say More Often
“We are only given today and never promised tomorrow. So make sure you tell the people who are special in your life that you love them.” ~ Unknown I found a special video today. It’s from Kid ...
How to Make Peace with Your Past and Heal Your Life
How to Make Peace with Your Past and Heal Your Life
Open Your Heart to Unconditional Love: Guided Meditation

It Is in Giving That We Receive


It Is in Giving That We Receive
“Make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, harmony; Where there is error, truth; Where there is doubt, ...
Let Go of Clutter and Live a More Simple Life
10 Things You Should Always Remember
Let Go of Clutter and Live a More Simple Life

4 Things You Can Learn from Visiting an Ashram


4 Things You Can Learn from Visiting an Ashram
It is coming up on the 1st anniversary since my first visit to an ashram. I took a trip by myself in January of 2011 not knowing what to expect to this place called Yogaville. The drive was about 4 ...
Why Positive Thinking Won’t Guarantee You Positive Results
Have You Seen the Wizard?
The Poorest & Most Generous President in the World

The Urgency of Smiling


The Urgency of Smiling
A dear friend recently shared a homemade smile card experience with me: Ever since yesterday, I've had this urge to pay forward someone's coffee. But I didn't have a smile card.
Developing: Drug that Sends Cancer Cells to Sleep to Stop Them Spreading
Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body
Don't Worry Be Healthy

The Elephant Whisperer


The Elephant Whisperer
Lawrence Anthony, the acclaimed South African conservationist passed away this March. His funeral turned out to be as extraordinary as his life. Two herds of wild elephants traveling single file ...
The City That Ended Hunger
Ancient Wisdom From the Second Most Translated Book in the World
Change is Coming

New Hypersonic Plane Could Fly Between New York and Tokyo in 90 MINUTES


New Hypersonic Plane Could Fly Between New York and Tokyo in 90 MINUTES
XCOR Aerospace claims its Lynx spacecraft can travel at a speed of more than 2, 500 mph and dozens of miles above the earth before safely landing at an airport. It would be the fastest commercial ...
The Secret Powers of Time
The Odd Truth About Other People's Problems
12 Scientifically Proven Steps to Happiness

Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!


Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!
So I haven't held a job since April of 2011 due to multiple health issues. I currently draw disability but am having trouble finding money at the end of the month so I decided I would look for a ...
What If Money Were Not an Issue?
Is Time Really Money?
After 25 Years of Trying, Two Friends Win $14 million Jackpot

The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang


The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang
In the past 2 years I have experienced the delights of visiting Thailand and being bowled over by their inherent sense of beauty and creativity to their humble way of life and their desire to please...
The Action of Light
A Quick Guide To The Art of Listening
An Incredible Graduation Gift from Dad

Drew Brees is Donating $1MILLION for Superstorm Sandy Relief


Drew Brees is Donating $1MILLION for Superstorm Sandy Relief
The New Orleans Saints quarterback told CBS' 'Person to Person' in an interview to air on Friday that the donation will come through the Dream Foundation he runs with his wife, Brittany. Brees says ...
High School Football Team Lends Special-Needs Girl Tactical Defense
18 Holes Of Happiness
Gold Medal Gives Ugandans New Hope

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon


Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon
Today’s grandmothers are different from mine. My grandmother lived a mile away. I played under her bushes where spring violets grew.
The Millionaire Janitor
What Motivates Philanthropists?
6-Year-Old Nico: Halloween's Real Life Hero

11 Must-Read Books for Young Leaders


11 Must-Read Books for Young Leaders
Recently, I wrote that leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well rounded ...
10 Lessons to Learn from Storm Sandy and Natural Disasters
The Beauty of Questions
Finding Humility through Wisdom


Handmade obchod - ručné práce, ručná výroba, výrobky, ručná práca, predaj, obchod, hand made | kurzy anglictiny Bratislava, individualne hodiny, jazykovy kurz pre firmy | ručná výroba, výrobky, ručná práca, predaj, obchod, handmade, Náušnice, náramky, dekorácie, Náhrdelníky | Zlatá maska, Omladenie pleti zlatom, Regenerácia pleti zlatom Bratislava | Salón krásy v Bratislave - Beauty salon Bratislava
Version:1.23 2013-07-17 Generated in 0.0636 s