Finding Those Rare Jewels

, , | Hopeless | April 1, 2016

(It’s the beginning of December. My family is travelling through California on our way to a famous theme park and have stopped at a fast food place for dinner. It’s dark and my father and I are taking our time getting out of the car while my sister and mother head in when a lady holding a box approaches us.)

Lady: “Hey, I don’t mean to bother you guys, but I’ve recently lost my job and so has my daughter. Our rent’s coming up so we made some jewelry.”

(She pauses, starting to get emotional.)

Lady: “Sorry, I’ve never done this; I just don’t feel like I have any other option. I understand if you want me to leave.”

(I exchange a glance with my dad.)

Me: “No, no, it’s totally fine! Unfortunately I don’t have any cash on me. Is there anything else we can do to help though?” *half-jokingly* “Do you need a hug?”

(To my surprise she starts crying and says yes, so I do my best to give her the most comforting hug ever.)

Lady: “Thank you so much. Tell you what, I have some bumper stickers in my car. You’re not from here right? I’ll give you one for free.”

(She headed to her car with her box of jewelry and my father and I went to follow when I remembered I had a little pouch with at least $5 in quarters for laundry. I grabbed that and headed over. When I tried to give it to her, she at first refused, saying the hug was enough. Then we decided I was paying $3 for the bumper sticker she would have normally sold for $1. We went inside and ate, telling my mom and sister about her. She was still there when we left and my dad remembered he had a $20 bill, so the whole family came over and my mom picked out a beautiful hand beaded necklace and earring set and my little sister bought a bumper sticker for $2. My mom gave her a hug, too, and we wished each other well in job searches. We never exchanged names, but I hope you and your family are doing well! I didn’t get a job but I’m going to college instead, and am doing fine living with my parents.)

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