Best Answer

, , , , | Hopeless | June 11, 2018

(Im working registers when a family with two young boys, less than seven, comes up.)

Younger Boy: “Do you know who my best friend is?”

Me: “Um, is it your brother?”

Younger Boy: “Nah, he’s my super friend.”

Me: *playing along* “Of course! How silly of me. So who is your best friend?”

Younger Boy: “You are!”

(The rest of my day went by with me in a great mood because of him.)

When Tragedy Breeds Joy

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 8, 2018

My mother was seriously injured in a fall while on vacation, in a city on the far side of the country from where her family and friends live. I left the next day to be with her. I arrived after a six-hour flight, tired and scared, in a city I had never been in. I made it to the hospital and found the waiting room while they finished her surgery. Once there, I realized it was nine at night and I had no idea where I would be staying. I knew I had a few calls to make, and asked a woman nearby if I should step outside to do so. She smiled but didn’t say much.

After a couple of minutes, another woman walked in and came over. She said that was her sister and that she didn’t speak English. I tried to talk, but just lost it. Between sobs, I tried to explain why I was there and that I didn’t know where I was going to sleep or much of anything else. She gave me a hug, and then went to talk to the staff at the desk. She came back with one of them who assured me I could sleep in my mom’s room for at least a few nights, and that it was going to be okay. The first woman sat with me until I was calmer.

At this point I realized they were there for their own tragic reason. It turns out one of her brothers had been shot in the head while working at his store. They didn’t know if he would make it or not. But in spite of all that, she made sure that I was okay.

We saw each other during the week I was there. She never failed to smile and ask how mom was.

Thank you to a family of strangers who reached out during their own tragedy to help someone who needed it.

And thanks to four of Mom’s friends and family who took a week each and flew across the country to be there with her. Her case manager said she had more company than some patients who live in the area and have family close by.

Jet, Set, Go!

, , , , | Hopeless | June 7, 2018

A few years ago, my parents and I were running some errands in our beat-up old van. It had no back seat, and the back hatch latch was broken, so it would come open at the slightest touch. We also had our year-old black lab, Jet, in the car with us, but weren’t too worried about him because he tended to stick right next to me as I sat in my bean-bag chair in the back.

This particular day, however, we were stopped at a red light, and he was sniffing around the back-hatch. The van lurched as we started forward, and Jet proceeded to tumble right out the back, sending me into an adrenaline surge as I shouted, “S***! JET!”, fully expecting the cars behind us to run over him as they followed us.

My father immediately pulled into a parking lot just a few feet to the side, and as I threw the side door open, I saw my poor, confused pup meandering out of the street and onto the sidewalk. But what I always think happily on as I remember this event is that not one single car had moved, not even those on the other side of the intersection. The people in the other cars saw what happened and all made the same choice to stay right where they were until Jet was safely back in my arms.

If anyone who reads this was there that day, THANK YOU. Jet was completely unharmed, just incredibly confused as to what had happened, and is still going strong today, thanks to everyone staying where they were and waiting until he was okay.

Waving You Through

, , , , | Hopeless | June 6, 2018

(When we are kids, my brother drops me off at middle school before he goes to high school. Every morning, we pass a police car at the same intersection, and every morning I happily wave to the police officer in the car. My brother always tells me to knock it off or he’ll pull us over, but I persist. A while later, my brother is in an accident and I have to take the bus while he is in the hospital. When he gets well enough to drive again, he wears his seatbelt in a very strange way because of his freshly-mended ribs. On our way to school we get pulled over.)

Officer: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Brother: “I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m not sure.”

Officer: “From the view in my car it seems like you’re not wearing a seatbelt. I now see you are wearing it, but in a very unsafe fashion.”

Brother: “I just broke my ribs in an accident a while back, and wearing the seatbelt normally hurts quite a bit.”

Officer: “I understand, but if you’re not well enough to wear your seatbelt properly then you shouldn’t be driving. I’m going to have to give you—” *suddenly noticing me* “Wait, are you the little girl that used to wave to me every morning?”

(I nod nervously. This is my first time being pulled over, so I must look terrified.)

Officer: “Well, it’s been a while! I was wondering where you went. I guess you were taking the bus while he healed from that accident, huh?”

Me: “Yeah, we even had to get a new car because the old one got ruined.”

Officer: “So that’s why I didn’t recognize you. That’s a shame; you always brightened up my mornings when you came by. You know what? You two go ahead today. You remind him to wear his seatbelt properly, will you?”

Me: “I will! I can’t promise he’ll listen, though.”

Brother: “I promise I’ll listen! I appreciate it, Officer.”

(I still waved at that officer every day until he moved locations. My brother never once complained after that.)

I’m Lovin’ It

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 5, 2018

I have a mild immune deficiency that caused me to get extremely sick a lot as a baby. At this point, my parents were stressed out, devoting most of their funds on hand to treating my various long-term infections, and short on time. They quickly became acquainted with various McDonald’s restaurants as a result.

One day, a particularly attentive McDonald’s cashier noticed that my dad looked frazzled as he placed his order at the counter, and after submitting his order, she asked if he was okay. He explained the situation as politely as he could, but it was difficult for him to restrain his frustration and worry. The cashier was an excellent listener, though, and approached him with validation and understanding. Then, she walked away from the register for a bit and pulled something out of a large cardboard box.

It was a Spongebob figurine, meant for an upcoming Happy Meal promotion. Despite the hollow and cheap plastic feel of the toy, it was well-made and durable. It even had some simple articulation that gave Spongebob’s right arm patty-flipping action. The cashier handed it to my dad at no extra cost with the ordered food.

It was just a toy, but it was more than my parents could have ever asked for at that moment. They had to put the fun of finding baby toys and games for me on hold while I got better, and they badly needed the validation that I was going to make it past infancy. The cashier helped with both, and to this day, we are very grateful for her generosity. The toy is long gone now, but the memory of how supportive the cashier was when she had no obligation to be remains ever present and special.

McDonald’s cashiers are often seen as the lowest of the low, the dumbest of the failures at life. But stories like this remind me that the stereotype is unfounded. Wherever you are, McDonald’s cashier, thank you, on behalf of my parents.

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