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Mar 25, 2008

Easter Bunny Needs GPS

. Mar 25, 2008

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It's Easter Sunday afternoon and I'm braving the crowds at Albertson's grocery store because I forgot to get my parents a card. I'm old school; I still like real cards instead of e-stuff on special occasions. So, on my way to Easter dinner I stand before the picked over card section of strays with mismatched envelops, folded corners or too much glitter. I'm a bad daughter.


I finally find a nice card tucked behind a ghastly one and walk towards check-out. I'm walking upstream. Everyone comes at me with carts full of ham, wine, produce and other feast fixings. I swerve left and right, dodging wild-eyed shoppers rushing to complete their lists.

I try to pick the fast lane. All the lines look the same so I pick my favorite number, cashier #9. A young mother with a small boy waits in front of me. She shifts from one foot to the other. The boy waits quietly, occasionally leaning against his mom's legs. He is maybe four, with sandy blond hair and faded jeans. As we approach the cashier, the woman puts her items on the conveyor belt. She separates food from paper goods, putting a divider between the two groups. She finishes quickly. Her cart is only half full.

Her son looks at the barrage of candy on display at his eye level. He fingers a Cadburry creme egg but puts it back as his mom nudges him forward. The cashier rings up the first part of her order, the food. The woman fiddles with something inside her purse. As she digs into her bag, the boy peeps above the counter top at the cashier, an older woman with long white hair and bright red lipstick:

Cashier: Hi there, honey! How are you?
Boy: Fine.
Cashier: Happy Easter! What did the Easter bunny bring you this morning?
Boy: He didn't come to my house.

The cashier's smile drops, her eyes widen a little, she looks at the woman, opens her mouth and closes it, then gives a tight-lipped smile. The woman hands her something that I believe are food stamps. The cashier processes the order and begins checking the second half. I see paper plates, towels and toilet paper.

As she prepares to pay, the cashier locks her drawer and says, "Just a second folks, if you don't mind. Just a second," and walks to the florist island a short distance away. She speaks to a female employee there and they huddle together for a second. Moments later, the cashier returns holding a small prepacked Easter basket with a blue stuffed bunny and some candy:

Cashier: Well, look here! I believe this is your basket, honey. He must've gotten lost! Easter bunny needs GPS or something! If it's okay with mom, you go on take this.

The boy gasps a little and smiles wide. His mother nods slightly and he reaches both hands up for the basket. The mother says thank you in little more than a whisper and whisks him away.

"That was very nice of you," I say to the cashier.
"Good Lord," she says. "Good Lord. I wish I hadn't said anything at all - "
"Yeah," says the man behind me. "He'll want to check the grocery store at Christmas! Hahaha!"

No one laughs.

32 Whispers:

CastoCreations said...

Oh my God! That is so sad and sweet. Wonderful and horrible. All at once. Seriously I have tears in my eyes!

shazz said...

I also have tears in my eyes. It made me realise I should not be feeling sorry for myself, I had a horrible easter but at least we could get the kids some eggs. Thanks for the reality check!!!

Angie said...

I was slightly disturbed at my own children's new stash and our entire family's gluttony. Now I am ashamed of it.

KEEP BELIEVING

C. R. Morris said...

I would feel as if I wished I hadn't said anything too. But I'm so glad she did! If not, he wouldn't have gotten the basket. *sigh* Wow..

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful to know that we are, for the most part, good and blessed by God to do the right thing when called upon. I hope you called the manager of this store and told him or her what a nice thing this cashier did for this little boy. He will remember that act of kindness all of his life, to say nothing of his Mother, who is in need at this time in their lives. Carol

Homemaker of the 21st Century said...

What a wonderful story! Thank God there are still some wonderful caring people left in this world!

Homemaker of the 21st Century

Boudreaux said...

Thatwas truly a beautiful story. It teared me up as well. Thank you for sharing it.

karen said...

What a beautiful thing that she did. Thanks so much for sharing this story.

Margaret said...

The man behind you was an a$$. The cashier was special. Thanks for sharing this story --that's probably why you put off buying the card for your parents -- so you could witness this act of kindness.

Kel Reel said...

cool. that cashier would be blessed someday. ^^

ujungsenja said...

good writing. so sweet. thanks honey.

erp said...

Wonderful story but pretty much got my tears out. I wish I can get to know that cashier.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I hear stories like this from time to time but somehow I'm always bowled over by that deeply kind sort of gesture. And thank you for eavesdropping and sharing with us- that is another kind gesture that needs to be recognized.
Cottagewoman

Timothy said...

margaret, you're right that the man with the christmas joke was an ass, but he gave this great story a perfectly crafted ending.

~Deb said...

Some people are just so amazing, aren't they? They have that "human touch" that goes above and beyond the rest sometimes.

Thanks for sharing this...

DM said...

Amazing! I love your blog, I can't even think of anything good to say just that I love it.

Anonymous said...

I have been in both places. Both the mother and cashier. I have been the cashier for the past 20 years, because I was that young mother for ten years prior. It was tough and degrading. Nobody gave me a thing. My husband had to dig up nightcrawlers and sell them along with collecting aluminum cans to pay our paltry rent. I remember eating toast for a month while pregnant. After that we both were blessed with modest jobs and had sometimes given a stranger our last $5.00. Bought school supplies for a little girl in store who had no money etc. Now, we are unemployed again due to reaching top of pay scale and becoming ill, so company fired while still in hospital. No union representation. A constant reminder that financial situations can change at the drop of a hat through no fault of our own, and you are once again tossed into survival mode. Faith will see us through this time as all other times. I sometimes wish people would tear themselves away from their toys and really look at people.
Thank you for what you write!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is very inspiring. I'm linking you. :)

Tina
www.queenofdistractions.com

NathanKP said...

Very nice. I enjoyed reading this one. I love your blog.

NathanKP - Inkweaver Review - Book Reviews and Cover Art

SecretSin said...

That's really sweet. Its nice to know people still do nice things.

Robert A Vollrath said...

I ease drop all the time to get material for writing but I never thought about turning it directly into a blog. Great concept.

I think these stories would make a great book of short stories.
You have a fantastic blog!

Kimberlee said...

I just found your blog & I'm glad I did. It was a great read & this story was fantastic. It made me sad & happy all at once. =)

heather (errantdreams) said...

It's so lovely what the cashier did; and so crass and rude of the man to only think of greed instead of generosity. I expect that says far more about him than about the child or his mother.

LN- Nickers and Ink said...

I just tossed out a bunch of stale jelly beans. This story touches my heart. What a sweet spirit that checker has. Who knows the difference that may have made in the life of that child?

May we look for ways to be blessings to those who need them.

Linda
Nickers and Ink

DESTINY RISING, at Nickers and Ink

fairyhedgehog said...

I remember when I was a kid and we were hard up. We were always grateful when we got gifts from people - even other people's hand-me-down clothes. They were new to us!

And now I'm on the other side of the equation. I hope I can manage to be more like the cashier and less like the idiot. Sometimes it's kind of embarrassing to help people out and it's not always easy to know how to do it but in this case she was wonderful.

Lovely blog, by the way!

Jonk said...

Hey cool post

I remember when I was a child, the school bus driver used to give us all easter eggs when we got on after Easter, just in case the bunny had forgot to visit.

That reminds me in many ways of this story. Some people are so thoughtful!

Vienne said...

Hello new and returning readers! I thank you for your thoughtful comments. I've been on vacation for a couple weeks, else I'd have responded to your posts sooner.

I'm encouraged to read so many of you who were also touched by the cashier's gesture. I wanted to sock the man behind me in the mouth when he made that stupid joke, but thought that might ruin the moment. Let's pass the kindness on. Cheers, Vivienne

Writing Nag said...

very sweet, I believe everything happens for a reason...how we do take simple things like an Easter basket for a child for granted.

fatsgone said...

What a touching story. It's really nice to know that there are at least a few caring people still out there in the world. Most would only turn a blind eye when faced with a situation like this. There's good karma in store for that cashier =)

blisters said...

That was beautiful. If only we had more people like that cashier. The world will definately be a better place.

rakeback said...

As i started to read on more of your posts, i think its really great. Some touching and some funny. Great job. Give me some excuse to eavesdrop the next drop :P

Shane said...

I agree with everyone else here. Really amazing story, tugs at all the heart strings.

 

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