Angels Shop at Wal-Mart

Angels Shop at Wal-Mart

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

Angels Shop at Wal-Mart

No one has ever become poor by giving.

Anne Frank

It was November in San Diego, and with Christmas on the way, many people were out doing their normal holiday shopping. My two daughters and I were shopping for something very different. My husband, an officer in the U.S. Navy, was due to return home from a six-month deployment in the Middle East. This had been my first deployment as his wife, and it had been a tremendous experience. From a broken-down van, to crazy neighbors, to family drama and even a major illness . . . we had overcome it all!

The ship would be pulling in soon, and I had so many wonderful things planned for his homecoming. I had redone the house, let my hair grow and prepared various other “major” surprises. I hadn’t seen my husband in almost six months, and I had to look my best. So off we went to Wal-Mart, where I told everyone within earshot that my husband was coming home from deployment and I had to look perfect. See, being a proud navy wife, you tend to get overly excited when it comes to homecomings.

We looked through the clothes racks and found outfits for the girls. They looked like models! I was another story. I tried on piles of clothing, asking strangers and salespeople for their opinions. No matter how positive the verdicts, I still wasn’t sure.

As my daughters delivered their usual “you never buy yourself anything” routine, I looked down at the tags and gasped. There was no way I could afford this, so I led my daughters out of the store, explaining our financial limitations as we left. I decided that I would find something in my own closet rather than paying sixty dollars for something new. After all, he wasn’t coming home to see my new clothes—he wanted to see me!

As we wandered out, a woman walked up to me and handed me a piece of paper. I was dumbfounded and, I will admit, a bit nervous. She practically ran away from us. I looked down and opened the yellow paper. It was a note thanking my husband and me, and blessing us both. Included were three twenty-dollar bills. I was terribly confused, and although we searched for the lady all over the store, she was nowhere to be found.

My oldest daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, you know what this means, don’t you?”

I was puzzled.

“Now you have to turn it around and bless someone else.” How many eleven-year-olds can think so passionately? I couldn’t have been more proud of her at that moment.

The woman was nowhere to be found, but I couldn’t leave without trying, so I asked an employee if I could use the PA system to deliver a message. He asked his supervisor, and they agreed to let me. My message was this: “To the angel shopping in Wal-Mart, this navy wife would like to thank you and say God bless you.”

Jilleen Kesler

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