A Thanksgiving Story
Author: Andrea Nannette Mejia
It was the day before Thanksgiving the first one my three children and I
would be spending without their father, who had left several months before.
Now the two older children were very sick with the flu, and the eldest had
just been prescribed bed rest for a week.
It was a cool, gray day outside, and a light rain was falling. I grew
wearier as I scurried around, trying to care for each child: thermometers,
juice, diapers. And I was fast running out of liquids for the children. But
when I checked my purse, all I found was about $2.50 and this was
supposed to last me until the end of the month. That's when I heard the
It was the secretary from our former church, and she told me that they had
been thinking about us and had something to give us from the congregation.
I told her that I was going out to pick up some more juice and soup for the
children, and I would drop by the church on my way to the market.
I arrived at the church just before lunch. The church secretary met me at
the door and handed me a special gift envelope. "We think of you and the
kids often," she said, "and you are in our hearts and prayers. We love
you." When I opened the envelope, I found two grocery certificates inside.
Each was worth $20. I was so touched and moved, I broke down and cried.
"Thank you very much," I said, as we hugged each other. "Please give our
love and thanks to the church." Then I drove to a store near our home and
purchased some much-needed items for the children.
At the check-out counter I had a little over $14.00 worth of groceries, and
I handed the cashier one of the gift certificates. She took it, then turned
her back for what seemed like a very long time. I thought something might
be wrong. Finally I said, "This gift certificate is a real blessing. Our
former church gave it to our family, knowing I'm a single patent trying to
make ends meet."
The cashier then turned around, with tears in her loving eyes, and replied,
"Honey, that's wonderful! Do you have a turkey?"
"No. It's okay because my children are sick anyway."
She then asked, "Do you have anything else for Thanksgiving dinner?"
Again I replied, "No."
After handing me the change from the certificate, she looked at my face and
said, "Honey, I can't tell you exactly why right now, but I want you to go
back into the store and buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie or
anything else you need for a Thanksgiving dinner."
I was shocked, and humbled to tears. "Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes! Get whatever you want. And get some Gatorade for the kids."
I felt awkward as I went back to do more shopping, but I selected a fresh
turkey, a few yams and potatoes, and some juices for the children. Then I
wheeled the shopping cart up to the same cashier as before. As I placed my
groceries on the counter, she looked at me once more with giant tears in
her kind eyes and began to speak.
"Now I can tell you. This morning I prayed that I could help someone today,
and you walked through my line." She reached under the counter for her
purse and took out a $20 bill. She paid for my groceries and then handed me
the change. Once more I was moved to tears.
The sweet cashier then said, "I am a Christian. Here is my phone number if
you ever need anything." She then took my head in her hands, kissed my
cheek and said, "God bless you, honey."
As I walked to my car, I was overwhelmed by this stranger's love and by the
realization that God loves my family too, and shows us his love through
this stranger's and my church's kind deeds.
The children were supposed to have spent Thanksgiving with their father
that year, but because of the flu they were home with me, for a very
special Thanksgiving Day. They were feeling better, and we all ate the
goodness of the Lord's bounty and our community's love. Our hearts were
truly filled with thanks.
***** [Jan 17, 2005] by Yoeyoen
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