My story began on Dec. 4 at 6:30 a.m. I woke up early, because this was the day I had to bake cookies for my daughter and two grandchildren who live in Toronto, Canada. I always bake three different types of cookies at Christmas: ginger snaps, carrot cookies with cream cheese frosting, and applesauce cookies filled with chocolate chips and pecans.
I began baking early that day and finished all three batches by 5:30 p.m. Not being as young as I used to be, it took me all day, pausing to rest my back and legs. The next day, I arrived at the post office at 9:30 a.m. with the cookies packed in a large plastic bag. I began the ordeal of finding the right box and filling out the International shipping form.
There was a young man in line, along with many other people. When he finished his business, he came over and asked if I needed help. I accepted his kind offer. The post office lady asked me the value of what I was shipping and different cries came out from people waiting in line:
“You kidding, all the love in those cookies!”
“What a wonderful gift to receive!”
“Your family will love them!”
The young man found the right size box, and packed everything neatly so the cookies wouldn’t bounce around. By this time there were at least 12 people in line and I asked him to put the box on the counter away from the other customers. I was ready to get back in line to wait my turn, but he said, “No, I’ll just put it here, right in front of the post lady. You will be next anyway.”
I was afraid of upsetting all of the people who had waited patiently for their turn, but he insisted. I asked the post lady if I should go to the back of the line, but she waved me over and indicated I would be next. She typed in all of the information into her computer, which took some time. But no one complained. Everyone was in a good mood and that made me feel much better about cutting in.
I knew it would cost about $90 to ship the package to Canada, but I had saved the money for it. The post office lady put the labels on the box — and then handed me $15.22. I explained I had not yet swiped my debit card and did not want any cash back. But she said, with a twinkle in her eye, “Your package was paid for by an earlier customer.” The total cost was $84.78 and she was handing me back change from a $100 bill!
All I could do was cry. I was so stunned. The tears rolled from my eyes and I looked at everyone in line and said, “I can’t believe this.” A stranger paid for my package to Canada! A woman came up, wrapped her warm, loving arms around me, and said what a beautiful blessing I had just received.
I know that all too well. I am retired and disabled, and live on a fixed income. The blessing I received would allow me to buy groceries for Christmas and the rest of the month.
The kindness of strangers comes in many forms, as do blessings. Thank you to the stranger who helped my family and me to have the very best and blessed Christmas ever.