Life has a funny way of snapping our attention back to what’s important and focusing on the things that really matter! For one young woman named Alana Ruthann, that moment happened when she was standing in the checkout line at her local Walmart.
As she stood, wholly absorbed by her cellphone, something magical was unfolding right in front of her. Thankfully, she was able to look up just in time and capture the heartwarming interaction…
It all started when Alana was trying to pay for her Saint Patrick’s day items. Unbeknownst to her, the two men in front of her were engaged in something incredibly special.
She shared what happened next with the Love What Matters Facebook page:
The following post has been edited for the sake of clarity.
“There I was, caught in the rush of life yesterday at Walmart Ankeny. Annoyed, I was standing in a line. God forbid I wait for something in this instant ‘I-need-it-now life.’
[I was] holding a few items in my hands ready to celebrate St. Paddy’s festivities, absorbed in my own world of technology, looking down at my phone. I didn’t even notice the two gentlemen standing in front of me until I heard an older man’s voice in confusion declare, ‘Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?!'”
“I looked up from my phone to see a younger man in front of the older gentleman respond, ‘Sir, I’m paying for your items because you paid by serving my country and I’m grateful for you.’
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.
The veteran was still in shock as he was handed the items he asked, ‘What do I do now?’ To which the cashier responded with a warm smile, ‘You have a good day!’
It was that moment I realized I had TWO heroes in line in-front of me. My heart swelled 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.’
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.”
Without being prompted, this kind stranger honored his hero and left without making a big deal about it. We need more people like this kind soul in the world today!
Since posting her story online, it’s been liked by more than 16,000 Facebook users and shared roughly 4,000 times. It’s obvious that people all over the country appreciate this young man’s generous actions!