Recently I was at the Post Office, as I frequently am on a Saturday morning, mailing my brother Robert 2 small packages for his upcoming birthday. The lady behind the counter asked if I knew I could mail a large flat-rate box, of which Belle Chasse P O didn’t carry, but I could order online & save money. I did not, I told her, so we laughed & I told her it was no big deal, as it was worth whatever I had to pay.
I had already filled out the customs forms but she wanted me to fill out a TO/FROM label for each box in case the customs forms became torn. I paid for the shipping which was $31.85 & moved to the left of the counter to fill in the TO/FROM information.
The man in line behind me finished his transaction & was leaving about the time I finished with the labels. He was a middle aged man with a moustache, dark hair, & cobalt blue cover-alls on. He asked “Where is he?” “Tikrit,” I said, “Well, he travels a lot, but that’s where I send his packages.”
He said “This is for the packages” & he place one twenty & one ten dollar bill on the counter as he quickly walked past me to open the door to the lobby. I grabbed it & said “NO NO NO. You don’t have to do that” as he kept walking & said again “It’s for the boxes.”
I was stunned. I turned to the wall & put my hand over my mouth because I knew what was coming: I’m always ugly when I cry & I was about to break all previous records of ugliness. I was finally able move & I walked quickly to my car, all the while wiping massive tears that streamed down my face.
From the corner of my eyes I saw the man leave in his jeep. I sat in my car & sobbed. Then I began to wail. Loudly & uncontrollably. . I did this for about 5 minutes then decided I needed to finish my other errand. I cried all the way to the store, stopped long enough to make my purchase, got back in my car & began wailing again for 2 hours.
I relayed the story to my best friend & she said “You’re crying because it was pure. Someone might have done something like that for him & he’s paying it forward. The only thing more pure would be a baby.”
I began to think why would a complete stranger pay for my postage? I think he might have been retired military, who can say? All I know is it has restored my faith in HUMANITY, in the inherent goodness of people. & I know when I see him again I will give him a bear hug & hopefully not cry.
And I will pay it forward.
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