The early CBC Radio One gave listeners the opportunity to share their stories of kindness by strangers. The story of Annemarie Kaan is the third in the CBC series, which broadcasts from 10 to 14 December for those moments of kindness.
I met you on an airplane 17 years ago, just as I started moving to Vancouver from Australia.
I had just said goodbye to my whole family at Sydney Airport. The last thing I saw was my father; the look on his face showed how upset he was to leave.
As I got to the plane, I felt pretty fragile for everything.
Of course, I was excited – I'm a nurse and I love skiing, so when I got the opportunity to work at St. Paul's Hospital, I grabbed him – but I also had a lot of worry.
You worked as a flyer in the Air Canada flight and came to give me a cup of tea. We started talking about my upcoming move to Canada.
I did not know anyone where I was going, so I felt very lonely and worried that everything would pass.
I think you have a pretty clear idea of how I felt and continued to work with me throughout the flight.
As we approached Vancouver, he came and told me:
"You know, it's going to be good in Canada, but if you ever feel like needing help or wanting to have dinner with someone, here's my parents' phone." They live in Vancouver and if you feel lonely, I'll catch you for dinner.
It was such a wonderful proposition and blown me.
There was no hidden motive – you did not ask me for a meeting or something like that – it was just a nice kind of action that came from concern for me.
This is the time that has stayed with me all these years. Seventeen years later I still think about it.
I never found myself following the offer, I was a little dazed when I first arrived in Vancouver and got involved in life.
But sometimes I want to keep this number and call your parents.
I was really writing at Air Canada to try and find you, but I got back a letter.
The kindness she showed me that day had a lasting impact.
I took a page from your book and try to show small acts of kindness every day – I'm just trying to smile or offer a cup of tea. This can make such a difference.
Thank you for teaching me a lesson in life because it has served me well over the years.
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