‘Overcome with gratitude’ from a stranger’s kind act

To the editor:

At the start of November, I moved to Marshall for my job as a manager at a retail chain. Like many retail workers, I ended up in my store on Thanksgiving. But unlike many retail workers, it was something of a choice for me. My family is in Alaska, and visiting is simply not feasible at this point. Being so new to town, I don’t have friends here to play the role of surrogate family yet. I chose to work – it gave my employees the chance to be with their loved ones, and gave me something to do other than sitting alone in my house watching movies and eating cold pizza.

Not long into my day, a woman walked into the store – by itself, a wholly ordinary event. But then something extraordinary happened. She came up to the counter and told me that she was going to businesses who were open on the holiday to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the employees, and asked if I was the only one working. When I said yes, she went outside and returned shortly after with two containers of food. Inside was a beautiful meal with all the Thanksgiving staples – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, a roll, and even pumpkin pie!

I was so overcome with gratitude that I barely maintained my composure long enough for the customer I was waiting on to leave before I broke down crying.

I left my family in Alaska just over two years ago, and holidays are always hard for me – I’m used to seeing my family twice a week every week, and certainly being with them for every holiday. I have not had a real holiday meal since I left.

And even if I was eating it out of styrofoam containers in between helping customers while I worked…it meant the world to me to have that meal.

I do not know what group was responsible for this gift, but to whomever it was, thank you. You donated time and food but gave a gift so much greater than that. I can never express how much that meal meant to me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Robs Veazey