Paying It Forward

3 Sep

Today I brought my youngest to Walgreens to pick up some refills of medication.  We browsed the office supplies, and she stopped to pick out a treat for herself.  Walking to the pharmacy counter I passed a woman studying bandage tape and remembered being there a few weeks ago with my broken foot bone.

We paid for the medicine and got in the checkout line for the rest of our hodgepodge of school supplies and treats.  I saw the woman who had been looking at bandages placing piles of coins sorted on the counter where the cashier was patiently recounting.  The cashier smiled and said “your purse must feel so much lighter now!” and totaled the amount.

The woman was in tears as the cashier said she was still short.  She stared at her bag and asked if she could put something back.  Her eyes were heavy, I saw defeat in her body as she pondered what to put back.  The cashier asked the manager to do a void.

Here is where I asked how much she owed.  And dug in my purse without a second thought.  I thought of the sweet old man who had given my youngest the dollar bill for a treat the other day.  I thought how blessed I was to have a basket of miscellaneous unnecessary items.  And knew she had bandages in her bag.  I didn’t know what else she had.  Nor did I care.  The piles of coins, the look in her face as she tried to decide what she didn’t need.  That told me what she needed-all of it.

I had that exact amount of cash.  And handed it to the cashier whose eyes welled with tears. And the woman openly teared.  The cashier told me that she only had bandages in her bag. Again, I wouldn’t have judged or cared.  The woman then told me that they were for her granddaughter who broke her leg, but kept picking at her leg.  I asked how old she was (16 months) and said my girls would do that too as I hugged my youngest who was at my side.

She thanked me.  Her tired, watering blue eyes. Her voice and hands shaking.  Thanked me over and over.  I shook my head and said go take care of that baby:)  And she left.  We paid for our markers, pencil pouch, and HoHos.  Put my prescriptions in the bag and left ourselves.

She reminded me how grateful I am to be able to afford a treat now and then.  How healthy we all are right now (after all I have Das Booty!).  And it was the reminder that no matter what you are struggling with (juggling my time between work, packing, losing weight, and just getting everything we need to do done) there are others fighting their own battles.

So “have courage and be kind.”  Today was my turn.  I’d love to hear your stories too.  The world needs more kindness with all the hate.  Love is stronger than hate.

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2 Responses to “Paying It Forward”

  1. Kenzee Blacker September 3, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    This was such a great read! As I sat reading I myself teared up because people today do not have the courage and the kindheartedness to do things like this. It’s so very rare to see anymore.

    I appreciate and thank you for being so gracious and kind spirited.

    I myself have a story like this, mine comes more in the form of being anonymous. When I go to get coffee from Starbucks or Tim Hortons on more than one occasion I have looked behind me in my rear-view and have seen the person in the car behind me. I like to study their faces and their gestures. When I get to the window, I simply tell the person taking payments that day that I would like to pay for the car behind me.

    I was told one time, after doing this – it started a pay it forward chain, returning the next day to the same Tim Horton’s one time the same cashier women explained that my simple act of kindness continued on for over 5 hours….

    It makes me feel good that their are people out there who are not cold and selfish.
    Thank you for telling your story.

    • mylifewiththree September 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

      I love that. Five hours of kindness. Not to mention how many of them did something else kind:) Thank you for sharing!

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