The Red Shoes & The Grocery Bill
I was around 5 years of age and playing along the curb side, in search of rocks and barefoot. We didn’t have much but what we had we cared for. I was preoccupied when a woman approached me, asking why I wasn’t wearing shoes. I replied telling her I had a pair and was only to wear them when we went to church or the store. She asked me if I wanted a new pair for myself and innocently I went with her to the local shopping mall. When we arrived, she asked me what I had at home, which I replied with “running shoes from my older brother” She showed me a pair of red buckled shoes. My eyes lit up and felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. The stranger proceeded to purchase me a pair of sandals and my own runners. I was of course excited to return home to show mum. Once we did, the stranger stayed outside after I thanked as I ran in with my boxes of shoes. Mum was upset but came outside to thank the stranger, who had left. I never saw her again and I do not know who she was. Looking back, the outcome could have been much different if the stranger had ill intent… but they didn’t. Fast forward 40 years. I left a domestic violent relationship. My son and I were in hiding with the support of police and child services. I ventured out on my own to buy groceries and items of need to start up life again. Terrified, I went to a Walmart across town trying not to be noticed or spoke to. The cart filled with items, I was in line to pay. The customer, a woman kept asking me about an item I had and how to prepare it. She kept on and although I wanted to engage, I was terrified. I replied with short answers none the less, trying to smile. Finally, the cashier was done and the total of $150.00 was the bill. I proceeded to pay and the woman, gently nudging me aside said.. “I’ve got this.” I stood there, begging her to not do it, that I can do this. She told me “Something told me you needed this, so accept it as an early Christmas gift.” I fell apart, crying uncontrollably, hugging her and thanking her. I have been doing RAK’s my entire life and will do so after I pass on as I see the ripple effect it started in me and continues to do so every single day I wake.