Dearest readers, though Mother Goose has a notoriously bad memory, she will never ever forget today.
There I was at the grocery store checkout, making a connection and establishing rapport with the checker, Barbie. She noticed that I had left my gigantic frozen turkey on the bottom of the cart. I retrieved it and passed it over to her, explaining that my sons would be home from nine months of Navy training this weekend, and we were planning to make a BIG DEAL over them. Barbie stood straight and tall to inform me that she was a retired Air Force servicewoman and showed me her name tag with an Air Force insignia attached to it.
As she continued to ring up my purchases, we chatted about the importance of recognizing and honoring our servicemen and women for their sacrifice. I took out my wallet to write a check, but before I could begin to pay for my order, the man in line right behind me stepped up to Barbie and said, “I’m going to pay for her groceries.”
With a look of total shock and flabbergastedness, Mother Goose turned to look at the man who would make such an offer.
“Oh no,” I began to protest. “You don’t have to do that, really.”
“I would like to do that,” he said quietly. “Really, I want to. You’re a military family.”
Barbie’s jaw dropped down to the floor.
The wing of Mother Goose went up to her mouth as tears started to fill up her eyes.
“Oh no,” I said again. “Really…” and I just kind of trailed off because the look on his kind face said that this was going to happen no matter what I said.
This has never happened to Mother Goose before, and I was completely speechless with wonder and gratitude. I couldn’t honk to save my life — the tears just rolled down my feathery cheeks as I threw my arms around this amazing stranger.
“Don’t cry,” he said softly. “Or I’ll start crying and I’m supposed to be the big, strong guy.”
With a gulp, I thanked him from the bottom of my heart and told him that I’d never forget him. Barbie the checkout woman asked his name because she wanted to report him to the store for Extreme Kindness and a commendation.
“Michael,” he simply answered, shaking his head. He wouldn’t provide her with any more information than that. The bill was totaled up, and he smiled as he handed her $81.00.
Mother Goose just kept weeping and saying “thank you” and “God bless you” over and over and over.
Outside at my car, unloading all of those beautiful groceries, I started sobbing.
Michael, wherever you are, God bless you. I pray that some other goose comes into your life and blesses you the way you have blessed me today.
Still in a joyous state of shock, but totally feeling the love in our little corner of the world…
Your friend, Mother Goose