New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Eyes that see the good in things: Aug 12, 2019

 

August 12, 2019



An article on the MSN webpage caught my eye the other day. It was a short blurb about a woman who had just finished working a long shift at their local hospital. Her son was starting his seventh week of Air Force basic training, and only had 17 days before his basic training would be finished.

She said that when she is working the night shift, there is more time to think about things and she spent a lot of time thinking about her son that night. When she got off work, she pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru before heading home.

After spending so much time thinking about her son, she was really missing him that morning. It inspired her to buy someone else’s meal in honor of her son and let them know that she wished she could buy a meal for her son. So, as she was paying for her own meal, she told the McDonald’s employee that she would also pay for the customer behind her. Then, she asked if she could write a note on their receipt.

She was no stranger to random acts of kindness, because she had started doing them when her kids were to teach them the value of kindness and paying it forward. She left McDonald’s that day, went home to sleep and didn’t think about it again.

However, the customer behind her in line at McDonald’s, who was the recipient of the random act of kindness, was very touched by a stranger’s kind gesture. She had pulled into the drive-thru that morning to buy breakfast for her son and was surprised when she was told that the woman in front of her had already paid for their breakfast. However, it was the heartfelt message that the Air Force mother had left on the receipt that touched her the most that morning.  

“My son is in the air force,” read the heartfelt message on the McDonald’s receipt. “I can’t buy him breakfast, so I bought yours.”

Inspired to share the stranger’s act of kindness, this recipient went to social media and praised the mother’s devotion to her son. She posted a picture of the receipt with the message written on it and said, “I was buying breakfast for my son at McDonald’s and the sweet lady in front of me in the drive-thru, paid for my meal. I pray that you see your son soon! He’s lucky to have a mom that loves him so much! God bless you and him! Tell him thank you for his service.”

Apparently, that post quickly went viral online, with local community members praising the unidentified mother for her devotion to her son and thanking her son for his service. The post soon reached the “Air Force Mom” herself, who thought it was extra special that the meal she paid for, was for another mom who happened to be getting a meal for her son. She commented back to the woman who had received the act of kindness.

“My husband texted me the news clip while I was working the night shift. I cried like a baby when I read the comments from you and others! Not an hour goes by that we don’t think of our son. He is going to laugh when he reads this.”

Although she was the one who extended her kindness to a stranger, she says the entire incident has been a blessing on her own life. “It was really touching. Here I thought I was doing something to brighten someone else’s day and it came back ten-fold to see that so many people were thanking my son and were appreciative of other military people out there.”

She hopes that their story will inspire people to pay it forward every once-in-a-while— because the reward you will receive in return is priceless. “The smallest thing you can do, a smile, buying a cup of coffee or meal can really touch someone’s life.”

Yes, I know that sometimes I sound like a broken record because I really love these kinds of stories. This one especially tugged at my heart strings last night, because I also have a son-in-law in the Air Force. He left his family in California and come to Minot Air Force base as his first assignment. He’s now working on his second six-year commitment, so that was quite a few years ago.

Yesterday was his birthday. As I watched family members wish him a happy birthday on his Facebook page, I was struck again at how hard it must be for them to be so far apart. Especially on those days when you would normally have gotten together and celebrated.

Although it’s struck me several times in the almost ten years that they’ve been married, I’ve thought about it much more since my little grandson was born in May. As I looked at the “party” pictures my daughter posted of my son-in-law, holding the chubby-cheeked grandson that I share with another set of grandparents living in California, I realized how much family time they are losing while their son serves in the Air Force.

The California grandparents were here when the baby was born in May. They left the hospital that day and went on a little shopping spree. It made me smile to see the child’s fishing rod leaning against his bedroom wall the day he was born. I knew immediately that his fishing and hunting grandparents had been shopping!

I’ve thought about them many times over the years, especially when I know that they would have wanted to be here with their son. They are missing those moments that they would have had together— awards banquets, hunting, biking and camping trips. I’ve come to realize that it’s the small, daily sacrifices that add up over the years.

This story reminded me how thankful I am to the men and women, like my son-in-law, who are serving our military away from their own families. Over the years, though, I’ve realized how much their families are also giving up. So, today, I’m thankful to the families who find ways to stand behind their military “kids,” always supporting and loving them— even across the miles.

We would love to share local stories about the good things your eyes are seeing.

Stop in to share your stories with us, give us a call at 947-2417 or e-mail us at [email protected] Or send a letter to Eyes That See the Good in Things, c/o Allison Lindgren, The Transcript 6 8th St N., New Rockford, ND 58356.

 
 

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