Posted by: littlebitofparadise | December 5, 2014

A Tale of Two Strangers

This morning my Bear Cubs were “so good” at the grocery store (cough) that we garnered a new zinger. A woman walked up to me and said “I watched you shop with your kids and kept thinking to myself “God I’m so glad I only have two!‘”

I fake smiled at her and seriously considered grabbing the Venti she was sipping and chugging it. (Well…maybe not really).

Not 60 seconds later, as I was unloading my circus from the cart and transferring everything to the car, I noticed a very elderly gentleman hobbling across the parking lot very slowly, his cane holding him up with every step. It felt like he was walking directly towards us, and I thought maybe he wanted our cart, so I turned to offer it to him as he approached.

“No I don’t want your cart, but I’ll gladly take it for you,” the man began.

“I actually came over here because I wanted to tell you that you deserve a reward. Or a medal. Seriously, you are an amazing woman. You care for them so well, and you’re so kind to them, and I can only imagine what kind of effort that takes. I’m sure it’s a LOT of work.” 

And with that he gave the boys a smile and a wink, and hobbled off, pushing our shopping cart.

Y’all, I wanted to hug him. Another part of me wanted to bury my face on his shoulder and sob for just a minute.

I get lots of compliments when I’m out in public with the boys, but 99.99999% of the time it’s when their behavior is stellar. I can’t remember the last time someone came up to me on one of those “doozy” motherhood days and spoke words of kindness and encouragement to my heart. It was a grace and a blessing so needed – so appreciated – that words at this moment, two hours later, are just falling short.

I wanted to share the story with you because at this all-time most hectic, most stressful, most rushed time of year when everyone’s behavior seems a little bit lacking… what a great reminder to share encouragement and kindness with the person who looks like they need it the most. Not because they deserve it, but because they need it.

And Elderly Sir with the cane and the kind words: I will not soon forget you.




  1. made me cry. He was your Clarence!

  2. I’m crying along with Jenny! We so badly need these “angel” strangers sometimes! God bless him. And thank you for loving your children so well that people notice. 🙂

  3. Awww, my heart strings are pulled too. Maybe it was St. Nicholas giving encouragement to families in this season of the Holy Family! There are always those who compliment and those who might scowl (the scowlers were at Costco the other day when I was there with 4 of my boys… would think that would not be such a big problem since they are 5 and up, but apparently it is annoying to have so many people in one aisle). I felt bad for them. It says more about them than it does about me. We were all happy and smiled despite not getting any in return. I don’t remember leaving a place so sad for the lack of Christmas Cheer in a long time.

  4. It was God working through this man who wanted you to know that you are doing God’s will.

  5. Once ir twice, I’ve had someone say something encouraging when my daughter was being really tough at church. It meant so much!

  6. That is so wonderful!! It is so tough and a thankless job by much of society and that can be such an encouragement, I know.

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