Letter: A beautiful story

The real beauty in this story is that the couple was not seeking praise or a reaction, writes Deborah Goerzen.

On Valentine’s Day, I witnessed a touching display of non-commercialized love.

Halfway through a busy shift with hardly any breaks between customers, a middle-aged couple approached my till. They waited patiently in the line and when their few simple grocery items had been scanned (there were no chocolates, flowers or cards,) they paused before paying.

The woman quietly told me that she and her husband would like to pay for the groceries of the very elderly woman behind them. Thinking that the couple and senior were together, I began scanning the elderly woman’s cart load of groceries.

While the items were being scanned the couple lingered over bagging their personal groceries.  As the elderly woman turned to speak with another customer, the middle-aged woman discreetly paid the bill. As the senior turned back to her, she said, “Happy Valentine’s.” It seemed nothing more than a simple greeting. The elderly woman warmly returned the greeting and turned back to pay as the couple gathered their purchases and left.  

I was confused as I had thought the three were together but understanding dawned.

The elderly lady held out her debit card to pay for the groceries that sat in bags on the belt. Feeling humbled, I told the senior that her bill had already been paid. Tears formed in the woman’s eyes as realization sank in.

The real beauty in this story is that the couple was not seeking praise or a reaction; they were blessing a stranger that had no way to pay them back. Isn’t this what real love is about?

Deborah Goerzen, Grand Forks