Monday, April 11, 2011

A Special Act of Kindness....

I recently started a new part time job at Super Target. It's a pretty OK job. The Target team is friendly and helpful and the patrons are generally polite and cordial. Aside from being physically tired from standing all the time, it's an alright job.

Sunday was my third day and about 6 hours into my 8.5 hour shift my dogs were barking, my back was a little achy and I was ready to strangle the next small child that demolished my perfectly clean and tidy check out isle.

So when a tired, worn out pregnant woman with two small trouble making boys came through my line I had to take a deep breath. The woman had nearly $200 in groceries, diapers and etc. After about 9 million coupons her balance was still about $160. She opened her wallet and unzipped a special section that held her WIC (Women, Infant and Children) vouchers and her Food Stamp card to manage the remaining balance. As I began to enter the vouchers, an elderly woman who I can only describe as "Grandma Stever-ish" in appearance, perfectly coordinated and accessorized  from head to toe with matching purse and pocket book, pushed her way to the counter and said, "Excuse me honey, I hope you aren't offended by this," and quickly swiped her debit card and paid for the woman's groceries.

The pregnant woman's eyes filled with tears and she asked the elderly woman, "But...why?" The elderly woman smiled and something I will never forget:  "Because I can and I will. I have been there sweety and with two babies and one on the way, you could use a break." The elderly woman then reached into her wallet and took out a crisp $50 bill and handed it to the mother and said, "You take this money and you do something nice for yourself. Get a mani/pedi or get your hair done or anything you want, but do something special for yourself before the new baby comes.And when you are in a position to help someone out, I hope you will." The mother was overcome and gently tucked the $50 into her wallet and hugged the elderly woman and went on her way.

I' don't know why this act of kindness moved me so much. I think maybe because the generous woman reminded me so much of the late Grandma Stever it made my heart ache with missing her. I've heard of similar anonymous acts of kindness amongst strangers but can't really recall witnessing anything so generous. After the incident occurred, I could only think of the saying that, "The errand of angels is given to women and this is a gift that as sisters we claim. To do whatsoever is gentle and human to cheer and to bless in humanities name." It definitely softened my heart and made the rest of the shift much more bearable.

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