Standing in a checkout line is typically a pretty uneventful experience. A lot of people will either scan the magazine covers, fiddle with their phones, or look at the items in their cart. Yep, not too exciting.
While this is usually how it goes – one Iowa woman ended up running into a heartwarming experience she’ll never forget.
Alana Ruthann wasn’t thrilled about having to wait in a checkout line at the Ankeny Walmart one day.
She was purchasing a few things before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and she admits – she was “annoyed” standing there. To fill her time, Alana zoned in on her cell phone and “absorbed” herself in technology.
Alana wasn’t paying any attention to the customers in line ahead of her. That is, until she heard an older gentleman say, “Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?!”
Luckily, Alana decided to look up, because there was a powerful scene unfolding only feet away.
She explained exactly what happened in a Facebook post that’s gone viral.
“There I was caught in the rush of life yesterday at Walmart Ankeny annoyed that I was standing in a line (God forbid I wait for something in this ‘instant- I need it now life’)….holding a few items in my hands ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day festivities, absorbed in my own world of technology while looking down at my phone, I didn’t even notice the two gentlemen standing in front of me until I heard an older mans voice in confusion declare, “Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?!””
At the register were two men that didn’t know each other. One was elderly, while the other was younger.
But despite being strangers, the younger man wanted to do something kind for the gentleman, who was wearing a Veteran’s baseball cap. Alana heard him nicely respond:
“Sir, I’m paying for your items because you paid by serving my country and I’m grateful for you.”
Alana was moved by the interaction.
“The older man was caught off guard with a loss for words, fumbling his gloves in his hands and trying desperately to hold in his emotion, as was I. Just as quickly as he scanned his card and paid for the items, that young man said another thank you and quickly left.”
Once the younger man was gone, the cashier handed the veteran his grocery bags. He was speechless.
Instead of just walking away though – he asked the employee, “What do I do now?” The cashier (whose heart was also very full at that point) gave him a warm smile and responded, “You have a good day!”
Alana managed to snap a few photos of the stranger’s kind act in the Walmart checkout line, which touched her soul.
“It was that moment I realized I had TWO heroes in line in-front of me. My heart welled as I watched our veteran readjust his Veteran ball cap, straighten up, and hold his head with pride as he walked out knowing someone was grateful for him. What a feeling- in this life where we rush through with our eyes down at a screen full of negativity and disagreements – to have someone simply say “I’m grateful for you.”
After Alana shared the story on Facebook it went viral. Even the feel-good site Love What Matters reposted it, collecting thousands of additional “likes.”
Sure, it might have seemed like just a typical checkout line experience at first – but in the end, it opened Alana’s eyes. She wrote:
“That 20 second interaction didn’t just change the veteran’s day- it changed my day, as well as that cashier’s- because that 20 seconds showed us by looking up and slowing down- life is pretty beautiful and surely we can find something to be grateful for. ♥️ Thank you Ankeny Angel- we needed you.”
There I was caught in the rush of life yesterday at Walmart Ankeny annoyed that I was standing in a line (God forbid I…
Hopefully, it’s a story that inspires more “angels” to perform random acts of kindness!
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