Thursday, December 5, 2013

Food Stamps for Blessings

I sit here with tears slowly streaming down my face as I write this, and for those of you who know me, know I completely do not cry. Don’t worry they are happy tears.

Today I had an experience too good not to share, one that touched and humbled me so much that I had to write it down.

First off, last week I read an article that was shared on Facebook of the top 5 most dangerous cities in America…no surprise to me that Fayetteville was on that list. If you follow me on twitter, you get little updates about just the fun stuff that goes on in good old Fayetteville (shots fired in the apartment above us, drug busts, body found in a different apartment upstairs….good stuff).

Anyways, the point of that snippet was for you to further understand that going to the grocery store sometimes takes courage for me, and I remind myself not to make eye contact with anyone. So I went today cause we were out of milk, also if you know me you know that I can’t survive without milk, and I got a few other things along with the milk, mostly frozen things and then went to get in line to pay, the lines were taking forever. In front of me there was this tiny hunched back old lady with shaking hands, and to the left of me was this about 21 year old guy with piercings in places I didn’t even know people get piercings, and his pants down to his knees. I was minding my own business, browsing Instagram when this little round lady probably in her late 50’s came up to talk to the women in front of me, it looked like they knew each other until she then went to talk to the fella to my left, her voice was so soft I couldn’t hear what she was saying to them until she came up to me.

“Excuse me sweetheart, I seem to by about $20-$30 short for my utility bill this month, I thought I would be okay but ends just didn’t seem to match up and God knows what I’ll do if it gets shut off.”

At this point I thought she was just asking me for cash, so I said, “I am so sorry I do not have any cash on me.”

“Will you let me pay for your groceries with my food stamps?”

I had way more that $30 worth of food in there but I said “of course, then I can just get cash back for you.”

She then wrapped her arms around me so tight “oh goodness, thank you so much, thank you thank you” she kept saying.

To me it wasn’t a big deal at all, but to her it meant everything. I saw the weight lifted off her shoulders as she smiled.
She told me that it is so hard when she has to resort to this because when she asks people to do something like this “they look at her like she’s a piece of “doodoo” and it makes staying positive in life really hard.” Made me think how true that is, how judgmental we can be to people when we don’t know what trials they are facing.

While we waited in line she told me a little bit about herself, she told me last year her ending salary for the whole year was $2,500. I couldn’t believe it, we make more than that a month. She also told me that she has a daughter who is 23 and has had three heart attacks, and a stroke, and was just diagnosed with schizophrenia disease. She told me that most jobs will work with you to a certain point about taking time off for medical appointments, and then they give up and let you go. “Making sure my daughter has the medical care she needs is more important to me.”

 Randomly in between her telling me some of her stories she stopped and looked at me and said, “you have such a sweet beautiful spirit radiating off of you.” At that moment I wanted to hug her, those words meant so much to me.

She was an employee there at the wal-mart so I told her that my mom worked here a while back while my family was going through some tightness in money and my dad was in the army. She told me that it is the only job that truly works with her and is helping her get to a better life.

She then asked me if I have any children, I of course said, “oh no, not yet, I just got married.” Her next words tugged on my heartstrings extra hard, “well sweetheart, when the time comes, you will be the best mother to those blessed children.”

By this point it was time to pay, she paid for all of it on her food stamps, and I got $50 cash out to give to this sweet lady, she hugged me again, and we went on our separate ways.

The entire way back home I was in some sort of trance of gratitude and humility. This lady was so positive about life, and we who have more than we need, get caught being negative far too often. This lady, who I do not even know her name, hit something in me, she taught me great faith and I am blessed to have the chance to have helped her out.

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