Daily Grace

An ordinary day, but not so ordinary.  I went to Sam’s Club to pick up the usual suspects — milk, bread…and pickles.  I’m the type of person that enjoys being friendly, making the quick connection.   Some might say too friendly, but err on the side of positive I say.  Hearing a toddler’s persistent cry, I sprang into action (when you think about it, how much worse could it get?).  Smiling, I walked up and distracted him with some soothing words and a back rub. (I must seem innocuous enough; no parent has yet tackled me or called the authorities.)  As I talked to him, he put his pacifier in his mouth and dropped his cheek to rest on the blanket his mother had wrapped around the cart handle for just that purpose.  His eyes closed.  Even I was impressed.  “Thank you”,  his grandmother said, “You have the touch”.  “Sometimes”, I responded with a smile, thinking of the times my over friendliness had been met with sheer terror by little ones (note to self, never approach a two year old who is not already crying, lest you precipitate the same).    At the crowded check out, there was an unattended cart that housed only two small vitamin bottles — an unusual sight at Sam’s.   An employee walked up to it, followed closely by an elderly gentleman.  “Here it is,” she said, “I thought it was abandoned.”  “Were you in line?” I asked him.  He nodded in some irritation.  “Go ahead of me.” I told him, which he promptly did.  When it was his turn to check out, it turned out he wasn’t a club member, but had seen “something in the mail” to try it out.   “Do you have it with you?”  the clerk asked him.  He didn’t.   Impulsively, I offered up my membership card.   “Just use this” I told the clerk.  “I don’t usually do this, but…” she said as took it.  We exchanged a smile.  After all it was just a small purchase. When his credit card wasn’t the right type, he fumbled through his wallet looking for cash.  For a moment, I thought I might need to extend my generosity to actually paying, and was prepared.  Finally he found a worn twenty and handed it over.  Turning to me before leaving, he said  “Thank you.”  “You are so welcome.” I replied, hoping that this had made his experience a little less stressful.   Such a small thing, but I felt fortunate that I was there.  He could have been my father.

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