The Kindness of Strangers Upon Which I Have Relied

*At my father's funeral, someone standing (or sitting?) behind me laid their hand on my shoulder during the prayer. It was a gesture of comfort I have always appreciated, so much so that 28 years later I still remember it.

*One night I went to the store for formula for my baby who was hungry crying (as opposed to the "I'm bored" or "Change my freakin' diaper, lady!" cries) in the car with my husband while I ran in. At that time I was on the WIC program which provides necessary nutritious items (like formula, milk, cheese, iron-fortified cereals and juice) to children under the age of 5 that come from low income families. Also at that time each can of formula came one one "check", making the checkout process a lengthy one. Since it was 11:00 p.m. there was only one check stand open. Yay! I'm tired, baby's in the car crying, and we still have a long drive home. Could this night get any better?

Well, yes, it could. The person in front of me, who was next to be rung up, had only a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread but saw something in me that touched them I guess and pushed my cart ahead of theirs in line. Ever since, I have tried to pay this kindness to others and instead of approaching a checkout line with an "Oh crap…" on my face when I see a mom with a cart full of WIC items, I smile and talk to them about their children instead.

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2 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers Upon Which I Have Relied

  1. WIC is a hard one for me. I know a LOT of women who abuse the system. I wish we had a way to better screen people for this kind of help, because charity by force (i.e. the government) really rubs me wrong. I’ll try to keep your story in mind when I’m glaring at the lady with kids and no wedding band in front of me with WIC vouchers.

  2. Oh.. and even if they have a wedding band.. if they wear prarie dresses and have one really long braid and a duck tail… yes.. I’ll glare there too. 🙂

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