Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor: Unexpected act of kindness was appreciated

December 19, 2012

In response and supplement to C.J. Carnacchio's Dec. 12 column about "Local charity is real charity," I would like to share an uplifting experience I had this past week within our own Oxford community.

As a "frugal" kind of guy, I love to take advantage of holiday bargains . And especially with hunting season nearly completed, I felt the urge to go to one of our local second hand stores to see if I could pick up any deals on used camouflage. The experience was rather pleasant as I found a couple camo shirts and pants that were nearly just my size. The only hitch in my shopping giddy-up was a rather haggard appearing lady dressed in a convenience store style uniform trying to squeeze her shopping cart through every other aisle I was investigating. Didn't she know I was on a mission?

Later, at the checkout, three people were in front of me: a middle-aged gal with a tint of red in her hair, a man, and the "convenience store lady" who had annoyingly but unintentionally tried to impede my shopping. As if the check-out process couldn't be more tedious, the convenience store lady inquired about some fancy leather shoes behind the counter. When the lone clerk up front told her the size and price, she told him to put them back because that was just too much for her.

At first I just rolled my eyes and took a deep breath. "Let's go already," I thought to myself. Then as I waited . . . and waited . . . the better angels got a hold of me and put the idea in my head that maybe I could help her out with these shoes. As soon as I finished entertaining these thoughts, the woman at the front of the line, the woman with the red tinted hair, gave each of us in line a $20 bill! "Holy moly," I thought! When I attempted to tell the lady that I appreciated her kindness but how I am already fortunate, she simply smiled, put the money on my clothes and said, "Pass it on to someone else." And then she was gone.

The three of us still in line were now smiling and in much better spirits. But as the man in front of us completed his purchase, I couldn't help but notice the convenience store lady kept looking towards the shoes behind the counter. I wondered to myself, "Was she going to purchase them with her new windfall?" No she didn't. I further contemplated, "Should I get them for her? Didn't a higher power just give me a sign? Who else am I going to pass the $20 onto this evening? I am on my way home after this." Before I knew it however, the woman was gone and I had missed my chance. My turn in line was next.

The clerk rang my order up. I didn't use the $20 the red tinted haired angel had given me. Like most naughty Americans, I used my credit card. Perhaps fate would allow me another opportunity to see the convenience store lady in the parking lot.

Instead, just as I was taking my bags to leave, I turned around to see her behind me. She was still thinking about those shoes! The moment and meaning of the season couldn't have been any clearer. I said to the woman, "You really like those shoes don't you." She said, "Yes." I handed her my $20. The woman thanked me, asked the clerk for the shoes, and proceeded to tell the clerk and I how the shoes were a Christmas gift for her daughter who had just left an abusive house with nothing but the clothes on her back. Wow. The clerk and I were speechless. To say the least, we were all touched by an angel in Oxford that night.

Name Withheld Upon Request