"Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Before she passed away, I was friends with an elderly woman named Hazel. Every week I went to her apartment for an hour to chat and eat cookies. Honestly, it was hard for me to pay attention during our conversations because Hazel often told the same stories over and over again while her tv played in the background. Eventually I noticed that Hazel kept bringing up the movie To Kill A Mockingbird. It was her favorite movie, but she didn't have a copy of it.
I went on Ebay and bought a VHS copy of To Kill A Mockingbird for $9. I brought it to Hazel and she was thrilled in only the way a sweet, lonely widow in a boring retirement home can be thrilled. She watched it every day that week, sometimes multiple times a day.
It was one of the simplest things I ever did, but it meant so much to her. I wish I could say I do nice stuff like this all the time, but I don't. I'm sure I often miss my chances because I'm just not paying attention to the people around me and what they're actually saying.