17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Angel in the Checkout Line

This post is just a story, just the telling of a “random act of kindness” that happened to me the other day. Something I just want to share, because it made me happy.

I went to the grocery store the other day with my four-month-old dd only to discover that the power in the store had gone out. But the grocery store employees opened the doors and welcomed me anyway: the lights are out but you can still shop, they assured me. So I gathered what I needed and got in line to checkout. The man in front of me (the angel in this story) noticed my dd sitting on my hip in a sling, smiled at her a few times, waved his hand (like people are prone to do when seeing a baby), and then very kindly emptied my shopping cart for me. I was certainly capable of emptying the cart on my own, despite needing one arm to steady dd in her sling. But, needless to say, I was grateful for the help and thanked him.

Right after he emptied my cart, the backup battery that was apparently running the cash register in our checkout line died. And since this world is run by computers, we obviously couldn’t checkout in that line any more. The man quickly ran to the next closest line still in operation, put down his things, and then came back, returned everything from the checkout conveyor belt to my cart, pushed my cart to his new line, and then emptied it again. I couldn’t believe it. Just saying thank you didn’t seem like enough.

Perhaps he was immediately blessed because the battery in our new line lasted just long enough for him to buy his goods and then died. But I was so touched by his kindness that I couldn’t get upset over the fact that I had to leave everything I needed behind and walk out of the store empty handed. His kind act overrode what would have otherwise been a very aggravating situation (especially considering dd was approaching nap time and this was my last interval between feedings and naps without something scheduled).

Any happy experiences you can share? Any moments you’ve lived through that turned a bad situation good? I’d love to read them.


  • My 4yo DD and I stopped at Wendy's today to grab a quick bite. This Wendy's is right by a high school and it happened to be lunch time, so it was packed. We had pulled in from a side road, so I thought we would be there forever.

    DD started crying because she was "absolutely starving" and needed chicken nuggets "right now." To tell you the truth I was starving too and felt just the same way.

    I couldn't believe it when two teenage girls waved us in line ahead of them, and we clearly had come after them.

    I usually find myself not giving teenagers enough credit, so I really appreciated this today.

    Nothing big, but an act of kindness nevertheless.
    posted by Blogger Namona at 8/24/2006 05:37:00 PM  

  • 1. I was stressed out: I had a really sick husband and a newborn. I had to leave my laundry in the clothes dryer at our apartment to take my husband somewhere. People in my apartment building get really mad when someone leaves clothes in the washer or dryer, so I was pretty nervous about it. Late that night when we got home I found all the clean newborn laundry neatly folded and stacked on top of the dryer. It meant so much to me. I really needed something like that during those very difficult months, and I was so grateful. I don't think the stranger knew what how much it meant to me, and I never got to say thank you. (Although, looking back, I could have just left a note in the laundry room, but I didn't think of that at the time)

    2. This one is a little bit silly. I was washing my hands in the restroom at my college when I realized there was a huge bee (or other scary, stinging insect) on the front of my sweatshirt. I was so freaked out. I slowly came out of the restroom into the courtyard where a student was studying. I told her there was a bee on my shirt and she must have been able to tell how scared I was because she jumped up to help me right away. "When I say go, RUN!" she told me. She swatted the bee away and I ran out of there as fast as I could (probably not very fast). I didn't get a good look at her so I never knew who she was and didn't get to thank her. I know that was simple act, but it was really nice to have someone so willing to help me out in my moment of panic.
    posted by Blogger Brittany at 8/24/2006 09:37:00 PM  

  • Our car was broken into a few weeks after moving to our current neighborhood (one of the many reasons we are moving AWAY from here next year) and my husband had to leave on a business trip minutes after we discovered the damage. I had a tiny newborn and a 20 month old and was beside myself with worry.

    When I got home from church that afternoon, there was a beautiful potted yellow rose bush on my front porch. No note, just the roses. I am convinced it was my next door neighbors. Whoever it was made my day - I felt like I had a little angel watchign over me and my family.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 8/25/2006 02:21:00 PM  

  • Last week I went into see the chiropractor for my weekly visit (got rear-ended a couple months ago). I was met at the front desk by the associate doctor who said, "Maria (the receptionist) and I have decided that you need to get a massage today and we will take care of the kids". I was so surprised and didn't hesitate to assure them that it was a GREAT idea and one that I was really thankful for. The doctor had been trying to get me to come in for one many times but working out a babysitter for the kids just seemed like too much trouble for what I saw to be a half-luxury. Thirty minutes of quietness while someone rubbed out all my stress. It was heaven.

    I realize they also had some selfish reasons for what they did (I'm a personal injury patient with another person's deep pocketed insurance on my side who they subsequently charged for my massage). But I still thought it was a really nice gesture on my behalf.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/25/2006 05:50:00 PM  

  • FYI, I'm a big sucker for good deed stories. HUGE. One of the few times I'll get all teary eyed and stuff.
    Thanks for helping to prove me right about how great people are...and thanks for all your stories!
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 8/25/2006 07:06:00 PM  

  • 2 years ago just after moving accross country, my DH starting residency AND finding out I was pregnant with #4, I had an angel drop by. I was sick, lonely and poor.....those 3 things really don't go well together and one night I answered a knock at the door to find Costco at my doorstep!! Seriously, some AMAZING, WONDERFUL angel thought of us and knew we needed a pick-me-up. Soooooooooooooo much stuff....food, toiletries, toys, and more food. Angels are in our midst :)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/25/2006 07:22:00 PM  

  • One time I was getting the kids out of the car in the parking lot at Costco and somehow, the doors all got shut --LOCKED --with my keys next to #2's car seat and #3 was still IN his carseat. Summertime. Toddler locked inside with my keys.

    Fortunately, I have OnStar --and so they can unlock the doors by satillite (how the heck to you spell satellite?), but UNFortunately, I do not own a cell phone.

    Luckily, two college girls were walking by and I asked, in a panic, if they had a cell phone. I explained the situation, and even though I could tell by the look on the cell phone owner's face that many minutes were being used, they were so sweet and kind and were very patient. Even when the OnStar person had to try more than once to unlock the car.

    Bless those people that allow us to use their cell phones, especially when some of us refuse to get one ourselves...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 8/26/2006 03:24:00 PM  

  • Very simple story...I was pregnant with #3 with my other two, ages 2 and 1. We had just left the grocery store and were unloading stuff into the car. My daughter had gotten a free, helium-filled balloon -- and it slipped out of the car, never to be seen again. She dissolved into tears. I was close to that point. I didn't have it in me to go back inside the store, but figured that would be my fate. Suddenly, someone from the parking lot saw what had happened and gave me one of the balloons they had received. I was so thankful I almost lost it. Somethingg soooo small made such a huge difference for a distraught little girl and her tired mommy.
    posted by Blogger mullingandmusing at 8/27/2006 03:03:00 PM  

  • My Mom is so often that angel for others. She has this funny thing--she'd rather take a Greyhound bus than fly (cheaper). She loves meeting people. After every trip (not that she's bussing that frequently) she has great stories about how she helped some struggling mom with a crying kid or how she chatted with some "lost" teenager the whole way. I think they must go home and say, "I met some great lady on the bus--she sure made my trip better."
    posted by Blogger Katie at 8/27/2006 08:49:00 PM  

  • Katie,

    What a cool mom. My father-in-law is like that. He doesn't take buses, but he is always talking with strangers and helping them with their problems wherever he goes. During UT blizzards he used to grab some tow chains and head out into the storm in his old suburrban to pull people out that had slid off the road.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/27/2006 08:58:00 PM  

  • This happened over 16 years ago, but I still get teary eyed when I think about it. My #2 daughter was getting baptized on a Saturday afternoon. The bishop in charge of the building (not even our bishop)went early to fill the font but found only the cold water was working. So he filled big pots of water and heated them on the stove in the kitchen, then carried them to the font on the opposite side of the building to warm the water for her. I was so touched that he cared about a little girl's comfort on her baptism day.
    posted by Anonymous Kathi at 8/28/2006 09:10:00 AM  

  • I usually just get annoyed & heap my neighbor's laundry in a pile on top of the dryer when it gets left in the community laundry room. After reading Brittany's post I folded my neighbor's laundry yesterday.
    posted by Anonymous brenbot at 8/28/2006 10:26:00 AM  

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