Friday, August 20

A thank you

(print available at

She stood behind us in line at the thrift store, slightly stooped, clothes neat and hair curled, tremors from her hands reaching into my cart to slightly touch the pressure canner sitting there. It was a find of finds, shiny and modern, priced at ten percent of what one would pay retail and I was so pleased and feeling blessed to have found it sitting amongst old blenders and ugly lamps.
"You can?" she asked, looking into my eyes. I smiled and asked the kids to tell her what we've been canning. Green beans, jams, applesauce... they rattled off.
We chit-chatted for a few minutes in the long line and she asked about the children around me, if they were all mine and I answered yes.
"And do you live in the country?" she asked.
I mentioned where we live and her eyes turned back to the children. Softly she said, "We wanted ten, you know."
"Yes. God gave us one. A daughter. And then no more for ten years. Our daughter turned ten and I had another daughter, a year after that a son and that was it."
The kids answered a few questions from her and she turned her sweet elderly face back up towards me.
"You must have help..." she stated.
"Help?" I was confused.
Did she think I was a single mother, I wondered, and so answered: "It is just my husband and I."
"But no help?" her question hung on the air. Certainly I didn't look wealthy, I thought, waddling eight months pregnant through the thrift store with five children like ducklings laughing behind and around me.
"No mother, no sisters?" her questions continued.
Ah, I understood. "Mmmm... not that are around or can help" I told her.
We chatted some more about canning and children and as I turned to set my purchases on the counter I heard her softly say, "I wish I was your neighbor."

So thank you to the sweet woman whose name I do not know, who took the time to talk to my children, think our large and noisy family is great, tell me about her life and wish that she could be a part of mine.



Jen said...

I love it! :)

Unknown said...

Teary-eyed... what a blessing. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

Absolutely beautiful. I love how God puts people in our path that blesses us through a simple conversation. :-)

Bonnie said...

Hi Hannah!
This is my first time commenting, though I've been reading your blog for awhile (we share a birthday, by the way, exactly one year apart!). I just had to tell you I loved this story, and thank*you* for sharing it with us. Maybe it's just pregnancy hormones, but it brought tears to my eyes, and has been a bright spot in my busy, hectic day.

Trudy said...

How sweet. It would be so wonderful to have her for a neighbor.


amy said...

so precious hannah. those types of comments are so encouraging, aren't they? they always breath life back into my weary mama soul. thanks for sharing this.

Jenn said...

How incredibly sweet, must have made your day, and I am sure....hers. ;-)

Karen G. said...

What a sweet woman! I think your brood is great and however many God gives you will be just right for you and Sean. I am getting a hot water bath canner from my mom -- although I don't can much I hope to at some point.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that brought a tear to my eye. Beautiful. I wish you were her neighbor, too. I bet she would be a very loving one. :o)


Anonymous said...

Hannah, thank you for sharing. I am praising God for His goodness in arranging this meeting between your precious family and this lovely woman. Your blog is so delightful and refreshing.

Tonya said...

this just made me cry.....what a sweet woman.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Sommer said...

What a beautiful gift! Though I have just 4 children, it is so sad the comments and looks I sometimes get. What a blessing it would be to receive her words and gentleness. I wish I had a neighbor like her.

God bless her, and you for sharing her with us!

Lots of love,

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Very sweet...maybe if you ever see her again you could get her number and take her some canned goods. Sounds like she could use a little neighborly love!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for posting.
Blessings ~

Anonymous said...

Wonderful.. :o)

sue in NJ

Anonymous said...

Isn't God amazing! He brings people into our lives, even if only for a moment, that bless us when we need it most. Thank you for sharing this wonderful encounter.

Nurturing Faith and Family said...

that was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes...what a blessing. it's amazing how different things are today, so many just don't see children as the blessing they are. I hope you run into this sweet lady again sometime :)

Janel said...

I love those kinds of interactions. That's why I always talk to mothers with young children. You never know what you might say that could possibly encourage them. Or yourself. : )

Although my youngest seems so "old", she is only 7. Yet I miss the bustle and antics of a brood of little ones.

Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Unknown said...

What a blessing!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story. :')
Thank you for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful, and as a mom who is a little ahead of you in the "walk", I can tell you that I have great regrets because of not taking the time to bring these precious women to my home, and now they are gone!
Love your blog and praying for you and new baby!

Sean and Lisa said...

Oh this post blessed me so much! How I long to come across someone, anyone while we are out and about that blesses us with sweet words. What an sweet blessing...and I wish she were my neighbor!
Thanks for sharing....