A Total Stranger Buys the Groceries for Mother Goose

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

Seriously!  He really bought all my groceries today!  What an amazing encounter!  THANK YOU with all my heart, Michael!

Seriously! He really bought all my groceries today! What an amazing encounter! THANK YOU with all my heart, Michael!


26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianna
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 13:51:01

    How wonderful! I can imagine that you were crying; I would, too, had I been there! (Just this morning, I was reading a post I wrote about Motor Man buying ice cream for three elderly ladies we encountered at Dairy Queen.)
    I hope you have a wonderful celebration with your sons this weekend, Natalie! Be sure to thank them for me for their service!


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 06:55:47

      Dianna, it was such a noble gesture and I’m still pondering his kindness. My Erik will be home Saturday night, but Adam is delayed by a couple of weeks. Still that is good because then we can give each of them the attention and hugs they deserve.


  2. Jennifer
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:07:47

    Talk about leaky eyes! From one Military mom to another.. God bless. Enjoy your celebration!


  3. Jo Heem
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:11:26

    That is an amazing story, what a wonderful & thankful man that Michael. Have a great time with those 2 men of yours, thank them for all they do for us!!!!


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 06:57:58

      Ms Jo, it was so incredible. Almost like a dream sequence where a stranger does something so kind, you know it can’t possible be real life.


  4. Bunn
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:16:00

    Such a wonder thing to happen!! Makes me cry everytime I think of this wonderfully kind gesture! Thank you Michael! God Bless you for such a kind gesture!


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 07:00:06

      Bunn, there is a great need to share our good news and our positive circumstances, right? There’s so much sad news and bad news and mad news out there. Michael is a shining example to all of us that we can make a difference!


  5. Debbi
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 14:28:56

    Awesome, what a wonderful experience! Life is good! Have a great celebration with your sailors and give them our regards and appreciation!!


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 07:01:28

      Debbi, I am still filled with wonder at this kind gesture. Surely he was an angel… I expected to turn around and see Roma Downey bagging my groceries or something…


  6. Roberta
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 19:26:55

    Daily we get bombarded with negativity..What a heartwarming story and yes, there are wonderful people in the world..God bless all generous hearts..


  7. Teresa Dawn
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 19:30:58

    Wow that is soooo wonderful!!!!!! What a wonderful offer from Michael!!!


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:04:56

      Teresa Dawn, it was such an over the top gesture of kindness. It was just astonishing to have a perfect stranger be so kind. It makes me feel so hopeful today…


  8. bodhisattvaintraining
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 00:46:03

    I’m crying reading it way over in Oz!! What a lovely man..I hope you have a great weekend welcoming your boys home Mother Goose πŸ™‚ x annie


  9. Doug Brooks
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 07:49:54

    “Pay it forward” stories are the best stories there are. How exciting to have the boys home and how wonderful to have this story to tell at the table.


    • Natalie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:08:17

      Doug, definitely a tale to be told over and over throughout the years, and I have my eye peeled looking for a person I can pay it forward to as well.


  10. yearstricken
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 18:37:35

    What a great story!


  11. Three Well Beings
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 13:49:16

    Oh now I’m crying! This is so wonderful. It’s so wonderful to hear a story of someone’s generosity and to have it tied to acknowledging the sacrifice your boys (and you) are making…wonderful! Enjoy every minutes with those two wonderful young men!


    • Natalie
      Jan 17, 2013 @ 14:41:14

      Debra, thank you so much! It was one of those moments when you wonder if the candid camera crew is around somewhere… completely noble and unforgettable!


  12. MMcV Roadie
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:53:28

    Mother Goose, I don’t know you but ended up here via your Mitch McVicker articles I tripped across on his page today. (I, too, logged hundreds of miles following the boys all over the Midwest for days at a time. Those were the days! πŸ˜‰ )

    THIS article, however, was a treasure to find on Veteran’s Day. Please thank your sons for their service. We are a grateful nation and world.

    And hats off to Michael, wherever he is. πŸ˜‰


    • Natalie
      Nov 13, 2013 @ 08:44:49

      Hey Roadie, cheers to you for following Mitch for so many years! Thanks so much for stopping over to visit — and I will pass your sentiments along to my sailor sons!

      And Michael…wherever he is…God bless!


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