Tuesday

Little Life Lessons at the Grocery Store...

Please enjoy this repost from last November 6, 2012.  I thought it was worthy of revisiting today, November 6, 2013.  Always a good reminder, especially during the holiday season kickoff.  xo, DG




Today I had to do a mega-shopping at our local wholesale club.

It was one of those shoppings where I needed everything.  Paper towels, TP, napkins, all things great and small that keep my household running.

I had my four year old with me, which is always pleasant.  (Mommm...I'm hungry, are we done yet, this is boring...)

We were making our way through the bread aisle when an elderly woman was stopped in the middle of the aisle.  I waited for a moment because I know she didn't realize she was in my way.  I stood, pleasantly, patiently, waiting for her to move.  Finally she glanced at me, slowly pushed her cart, and gave me a dirty look.  Always being the first to apologize, I quickly and softly said, "excuse us" for what I have no idea, but she was old so I thought I would just be kind.

We finished up our shopping and headed to the checkout line.  There was only ONE open.  Fine. No problem.  We'll wait.

I had a FULL cart that I knew would take a while to ring in, and I turned and saw the elderly woman huffing and puffing behind me.  My first thought was, there is no way I am going to let grouchy grandma go ahead of me after the look she gave me a little while ago.  But alas, the good side of me said - ohh just let her go ahead. 

Next thing I know, I hear myself sweetly saying, "you know what, I have a lot of stuff in my cart, and you just have a few things, why don't you go ahead of me.."

She barely acknowledged me, just about ran over my 4 year old, and pushed ahead.  Now I was kind of pissed because if she couldn't muster up a thank you, then a smile would've been nice.  But no.  Nothing.

It was our turn next.  The checkout girl got us right through, quickly and efficiently.  We were on our way out the door.  We head to the car, and who do we see?  Grouchy grandma...just 2 cars down from ours.  She is having a hell of a time trying to get the cat food and litter from her cart to her little Subaru stationwagon.  Here we go again. No, no, no.  I'm not going for the trifecta of niceness.  I am going to get my car loaded and go.

Nope.

"Would you like some help with that litter?  I know, it's really heavy and hard to lift!"

She looked at me, with a very sad look.  "That would be really nice of you.  My husband was usually the one to do it, but he passed away a few weeks ago, and this is my first time here without him."

I told her how very sorry I was and loaded her car.  She grabbed on to her cart suddenly as if she was going to fall, and I shot up from the trunk of her car to make sure she was ok.  She was not.  She was sobbing uncontrollably.  I rubbed her arm and said it would all be ok and that's when she lunged forward and hugged me.

My poor little man in the cart didn't know what to do when he saw her crying so he looked at her and said, "I like your car."  It was perfectly innocent and well-timed.  Even his heart broke for her.

She looked at him and smiled and said, "I like your car, too."  (He was  in one of those obnoxious red race car-shopping carts.)

"Thank you for stopping to help me.  This has been a really hard couple of weeks, and I just miss him so much.  After so many years, it's just really hard to learn to live without someone."

I did everything I could to choke back the tears.  I stood there with her for a few minutes, made sure she got in her car ok, and waved to her as she drove off.



What a lesson in kindness.  My inner voice told me not to be nice to her for the third time, but my heart moved my legs right to her car to help. 

In a world where our patience is tested daily, hourly, by the minute even, it is so easy to get wrapped up in drama or sucked in to someone else's poison.  My challenge to you is to make the choice to walk away from the negativity, choose the high road, give someone the benefit of the doubt, and be kind.

Sometimes you just have to listen to your heart.

Until next time...
xo,
DG

33 comments:

  1. Brought tears to my eyes. So glad you were able to give her some kindness in her sorrow. We'll never regret the kindnesses we show, but we may regret not showing them.

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  2. Well that made me cry...thanks for that! Actually, thanks for the reminder that being kind is always, always, always the right decision.

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  3. This made me cry, DG. Ugh...i know exactly what you wanted to say in your head but there was something telling you to keep extending that sweet nature of yours. You can't help it, my dear...it is who you are. And I love that about you so much. Thank God you were there to hug that sweet woman when she needed it. It may just be the only personal contact she gets all day, all week or all month, for that matter. Thank you for being you. <3

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    1. You don't want to know what was going through my head..I was like mannn she is one mean mamajamma! lol xo The good wins!

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  4. This is amazing. The world is a better place because of your relentless kindness. Thank you.

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    1. Aww that's way too much credit to me..but thank you so much. xo

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  5. this is so so very sweet. Kindness. Even when you don't want to. This is the good stuff. love it.

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  6. Crap Now I am crying at work at have to explain that I was goofing off instead of actually working. Seriously though that was just beautiful.

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  7. You re an overachiever today! Xoxox

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  8. I remember feeling this way, too, after my husband died. Being responsible for everything all by myself after 20 years was hard to take those first few weeks. I'm glad there are people out there who let their hearts guide them in moments like that.

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  9. You made me cry too. Thanks for being there for her. You are awesome. we lost my father in law this summer and that could have been my mother in law. I hope someone does that for her.

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  10. Just discovered your blog yesterday, and you cracked me up, and today you made me cry - Love it! When we're faced with so much ugliness everyday, it's nice to know there are people full of kindness like you :-)

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  11. Thank you all so much for the amazing comments. xo

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  12. Good for you! I'm always far too impatient with people I think are being rude, I'll probably remember this the next time I am in that situation.

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  13. We just know deep down what the right thing to do is even when we don't want to. Having lost my dad last year and my mum is doing all those things, I hope there's a few of you helping her too. Bless you for being kind.
    Tears are still in my eyes!

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  14. This reminds me of the Plato (I think it's Plato?) quote: "be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle" (I paraphrase, but that's the jist of it *smiles*)
    xxx

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  15. I've just been in a funk this morning, and this really cheered me up. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. You have such a kind heart my friend. You softened that woman with your beautiful smile and kind gestures. Love you!

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  17. Wow, totally teared up reading this.
    It's people like you who listen to your inner voice & just do it anyway that make the world a better place :)

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  18. I just wrote sad post for the first time a couple of days ago. Actually SAD/PISSED OFF. I was basically saying I was tired of being a people pleaser, going out of my way, making sure everyone is happy, even strangers. I was going to get strong, change my ways and not be so fricking nice because it was draining me. THEN????
    Then............. I read your post! You described me to a 'T'. I was starting not to like your old lady, and also recognizing myself in your attempts. But the ending.....well, now I have to re-think my attempt at NOT being 'Nice J.R.' Because my luck, my first time at trying to not be so helpful will probably be to a saddened widow. That would not feel good.
    Great post! Great thought for the day. :)

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  19. Love this story. So happy you reached out to her. Karma. :)

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  20. I work with the public every day, and there have been many, many times when just making the effort to be pleasant has been incredibly difficult in the face of their opposition. You never know what is going on in the lives of other people to make them act the way they sometimes do. Good for you!
    For listening to the small, still voice inside of you that said...be kind...be who you are. By doing what you always do, you made a difference once again in the life of a stranger.

    xo
    tzkw

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  21. That brought tears to me eyes.

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  22. Very nice, thanks for the reminder to keep an open mind when it comes to unconditional kindness. As a fairly self absorbed person I too often find myself thinking anyone's bad attitude or just lack of a good one is directed towards me personally and therefore I should respond as such. I'll keep this story in mind next time I have that urge to get sassy!

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  23. As beautiful now, as it was originally.

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  24. Oh, honey. Your kindness is overwhelming. Thank you for sharing this.

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  25. First, about the hungry kid: don't they have all the sample people at your big store? And second, I think it says more about you that your legs and mouth moved toward her than that your brain wanted you to move away.

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  26. You are good in the very best way. God bless your beautiful and kind heart.

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Support random acts of kindness and leave me a nice comment..it totally counts as a good deed.