A smile offered by a woman to a veteran at Kroger unexpectedly sparked a chain of good deeds that has been inspiring people on social media. This beautiful story is a testament that hope for humanity isn’t lost, despite the ongoing conflicts in the world.
On Aug. 5, 2016, Georgian woman Lisa Lemming Jackson was shopping in a Kroger in Rome when she made eye contact with an elderly man in a veteran’s cap and a motorized cart, 11Alive reported.
Jackson smiled at him as she walked past, but something didn’t seem quite right. As a nurse at a senior home care center, and having endured pain in her own life, she sensed the elderly man needed help.
Wasting no time, Jackson turned back to ask if she could help him. She told 11Alive that at that moment, tears began to well up in his eyes.
The man, named Elmer, replied, “I have colon cancer and I have had a really bad accident. If I get up out of this cart everyone will know… What should I do?” Jackson wrote in the post she shared on Love What Matters‘s Facebook page.
“The look of his dignity lost left me with a lump in my throat,” Jackson wrote.
Jackson quickly alerted Kroger staff, who brought Elmer wipes and undergarments. Then, they quietly took Elmer to the employee restroom, where he was given new clothes to change. Jackson’s and Kroger staff’s kindness left Elmer in tears. The Vietnam and Korean War veteran kept crying and apologizing.
Elmer said he had to hurry home as his wife was all by herself. When Jackson and Elmer walked to the register, something amazing happened—Elmer’s groceries were all bagged up. Knowing that an anonymous person had generously paid for his items, Elmer cried harder.
Jackson wrote, “He said he fought in Vietnam and Korean War and loved his country, but up until today he said he thought his country forgot about him.”
Jackson choked up and began telling Elmer about her own struggles and fears. “He gave me words of wisdom and encouraged me that maybe after all, humanity still does care about one another,” Jackson wrote.
After spending two hours with Elmer, Jackson bade him farewell. That day, the generosity Jackson witnessed renewed her faith in humanity.
“Thank you Elmer, thank you Kroger and thank you God for the lesson and reminder I received today,” she wrote.
Jackson’s post, shared on Love What Matters, has since received over 109,000 reactions.
“May we all take the time to look beyond ourselves and help one another!” one Facebook user wrote.
Another added, “This story is beautiful and it touched my heart!!”
Till today, Jackson still tears up thinking about all this, reported 11Alive. Jackson hopes no matter how busy we are, we should pay attention to those around us who may need help, particularly the elderly members of our society.