Ok, this story is about the kindness of strangers’ and it’s a little long. Please wait until you have a few minutes to read it the entire way thru, ok?
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.
He often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.
He knew I loved yellow roses.
With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, because even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.
Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.
Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.
Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T‐bones, dropped them in her basket. Hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.
She saw me watching her and she smiled. ‘My husband loves T‐bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.’
I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.
‘My husband passed away eight days ago,’ I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. ‘Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.’
She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.
I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms, she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile! I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.
As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. ‘These are for you,’ she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. ‘When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.’ She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.
I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision.
I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone.
Oh, you haven’t forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.
Every day, be thankful for what you have and who you are.
Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.
Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord, that I can see.
Many are blind.
Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.
Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud. Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.
Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.
Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you; Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.
Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest. Thank you, Lord, for life.
I just completed a book titled Nickel & Dimed. It is a true story of a middle-class women author who went “undercover” into the world of the “working poor” (a term both she and I dislike) on three separate occasions. It is an eye-‐opening story and I highly recommend that you read or listen to this book.
My request this month is that you pause and at some moment during the day this coming week to extend a sincere “thank you” to someone who provides a service to you. It may be a clerk at Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or the 7-‐11; perhaps it is the guy who pumps gas in your car, a bank teller, or maybe the person who cleans your office or home; could even be your waitress. It doesn’t really matter who you pick so long as you are sincere in the action. And as always, if you’d like to share with me about the experience, please do.