A Warm Hug

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A Warm Hug

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This personal item is a jacket I received from a customer back during the Spring of 2020. I was an essential worker at Lowe's at the time and quarantine had just been mandated. It was an extremely cold and rainy day; cold to the point of where the wind was blowing the doors to-and-fro and I could not ring up a customer without stopping to put my hands in my pockets. As I worked, a middle-age guest, comes up to register and noticed that I was shivering nonstop. She paused as she got ready to hand me her payment and asked if I needed another jacket. I smiled and told her “No, I’m okay,” but she persisted and asked again. I reassured her that I was okay and she nodded and smiled sweetly and told me “thank you” and to have a bless day. After she left, I did not think much about the encounter besides the fact that she was genuinely a sweet and kind woman. About 30 minutes later, the same woman approached me in my line again, but this time with a Target bag in her hand and jacket in the other. With a sweet smile again, she told me that she used the last bit of her cash she had on her to go buy me something warm so I would not freeze the rest of my shift. While it was a small act, it meant a lot to me considering that she was stranger and was willing to go that far to make sure I was okay. I was not able to give the woman a hug after the exchange (we actually gave each other a "COVID fist bump" out of solidarity,) but it honestly felt all the same. Her act showed me that despite race, gender, age, or orientation, we were all one in the same in that moment and that we were all going through the same trials, worries, and circumstances. To this day, I still have the jacket in my closet and I always wear it at home or outside when I need a warm hug. Whether there is an pandemic a war, or any crisis, going on in the world that experience taught me that it does not cost anything to be nice to another human being. Although there were many more hardships I experienced that year, I always looked back to moment for comfort and remembered that there was a sweet lady out there giving me love and endurance.

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This item was submitted on May 4, 2022 by Ashley Hampton using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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