A Test of Character NULL

My mother asked that I share this story on this special day. When one thinks defining and proudest moments in the eyes of a parent, big events should automatically come to mind- graduation, engagement, achieving an award, or some form of success- however, to her, one of her proudest moments in her life happened on an ordinary day during the holiday season.

The story starts at the grocery store.

My mom and dad needed something from the grocery store that they forgot to pick up. When I'm home for the holidays, my parents usually make me their 'errand boy'. Ah, the good ol' days when I was in high school.

It was my sophomore year at Creighton and when my parents ask me to do something, I do it, simple as that. Granted, it might take me a couple of times asking, but I do it none the less.

When I went to check out, I went to the line that was the shortest. I thought it was strange that during the holiday season, there was actually a line with only one person.

I walked briskly into the line with my item in hand. As I walked into line, two to three more people followed my lead to the shortest check-out line at the grocery store.

When I arrived, I saw an older lady and the cashier in some form of discussion. The lady looked like she has been crying for quite sometime I had no idea what was going on, but I guess it explained why the line was so short.

The conversation when I arrived was something like this:

The lady said: 'Oh my god, I don't have any more money. Isn't there something we can work out?

The cashier replied: 'I'm sorry, ma'am. I have to follow our store policies. You are short just under 5.00.'

Now, I figured out what was going on. Over the past couple of minutes, these two ladies were having a discussion that involved her not being able to cover the remaining 5.00.

While I was listening, I realized I was holding a 5.00 bill.. Now, I believe things happen for a reason, and to this day, me holding that five dollar bill was no coincidence. The only thing preventing that lady from leaving the store to spend time with her family was 5.00, and I was holding it.

The lady felt embarrassed for crying at the store. As a way preserving what dignity she had left, she wanted to unscan all the item, not just the ones that would cover the 5.00 she was missing. At the moment the cashier was about the unscan the first item, I said, 'I can't let you do that, ma'am.' My voice carried over to the point that not only was my line stopped, but the other two check-out lines stopped to see what was going on.

I asked the cashier how much she needed to cover to double check.. I said after I got the verification, 'Please take this 5.00 dollars and enjoy the holidays with your family.' The line was still and for a few seconds, there was nothing, but silence.

The cashier broke the silence when she looked up, pointed at me, and said, 'You're lucky. That young man was your angel sent to you today.' As she acknowledge the comment the cashier said, the lady looked at me and gave me a head nod. It was as if she was telling me thank you without any words or movement of lips.

As she life, the line went back to normal and I grabbed money out of my wallet. The cashier caught me while she was handing me my item and said, 'Your parents did a good job raising you. They should be proud.'

As soon as I got home, I told my mom and dad this story. My parents were in disbelief, and as my mom put it, 'I wanted to cry at that moment.'

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I haven't posted anything on this forum on such a long time, but I have a story to share with everyone. I believe that this story exemplifies not only the spirit of the holiday season, but also what the human spirit and compassion should embody; I hope you all enjoy my story, "A Test of Character". I dedicated this story to my girlfriend's family because I wanted to reveal a side of me that none of them ever saw.

Submitted by Anonymous


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