A retired veteran had no choice but to work as a grocery clerk to pay for his wife’s treatment. Just two hours into the job, the store owner decides to fire him for an unknown reason. The following day, his wife’s $70,000 bill was paid in full.
David was a retired 72-year-old veteran who served his country since he was in his 20s. He had retired five years ago and since then looked forward to doing his own thing, especially since he couldn’t do a lot of his hobbies while working in the military.
However, while enjoying his retirement, his wife Rachel was suddenly diagnosed with an illness that needed emergency surgery and lifetime maintenance medication. Although David had a pension from the government, it was not enough to cover her hospital bills and recurring medical needs.
David decided to get a part-time job at a local supermarket to support their needs. When he applied, it was the store manager who interviewed him. Upon seeing that David had a pleasing personality and was strong enough to work, he hired him immediately.
David was tasked to greet customers as they entered and entertain their questions. He found his new job enjoyable, as everyone was courteous and respectful towards him, making it easy for him to work and assist them.
The other employees were also very supportive of David, and they helped him adjust to his new role by orienting him and teaching him some tips. Around three hours after David started working, however, the atmosphere at the grocery store suddenly changed.
A fellow employee whispered to David that the man who had just entered the store through the back entrance was the owner, Gregory. As he made his way to the front, he had his eyes fixated on David the entire time. “Can you please go to my office?” he said as soon as he was in front of the old man.
David was nervous, thinking he had done something wrong. His fellow employees looked at him sympathetically, as they didn’t think anything was wrong with David. However, they knew this wouldn’t end well because each time the store owner didn’t like something, he dealt with it swiftly.
When David got into the office, Gregory asked him to sit down. “My manager, Stephen, told me he hired you earlier today. Is that correct?” he asked.
David nodded his head. “Yes, sir, I was hired about two hours ago. Did I do anything wrong? I hope you can give me a chance. I really need this job.”
Gregory shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I just don’t think you’re fit for the job. I need to fire you,” he told David, whose face fell into a frown. The old man was on the verge of tears and was desperate for a second chance.
“Please, sir. I’ll take any job you have. If you don’t want me out front, I can work in your storage room at the back. I just really need this job. I hope you can give me a chance to prove myself,” David begged.
“Why do you need this job? You should be at home, retired,” Gregory asked.
“My wife, Rachel, is at the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery. My pension isn’t enough to cover her hospital bills just yet, so I need an extra job to ensure we’re not in debt,” David said.
Gregory sighed. “The truth is, I recognized you when I walked in. I couldn’t believe someone like you was in the store, not as a customer, but as part of the staff.”
David was confused as to where the shop owner might have recognized him from. He was sure he had never seen the man before. Even though he was getting old, his memory was still sharp.
“My dad served in the military many years ago and was once in trouble. He was badly injured in active battle, and his commander saved him. It was you, sir,” Gregory revealed.
David looked around the room and spotted a plaque of appreciation hanging on the wall. The owner’s name was “Gregory Williamson.”
“You’re a Williamson. Are you the son of Captain James Williamson?” David asked Gregory.
Gregory nodded his head. “I am, sir. My family owes you a great deal of gratitude. When I recognized you, I felt it was unfair that you needed to work after devoting your entire life to your country. That’s why I fired you,” he admitted.
David couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Your father and I were excellent friends in the military. I never met his family, so I didn’t recognize you. I miss him a lot,” he told Gregory, who was all smiles.
“You and my dad are my heroes,” Gregory admitted. “You deserve to be at home, enjoying your retirement, sir. Please allow me to pay for your wife’s treatment. It will be my family’s gift to you for everything you’ve done for us.”
David couldn’t help but shed a tear. If he had his way, he wouldn’t have worked in the first place, but he’d do anything for his wife. Now that the opportunity presented itself, he couldn’t help but be grateful that someone was willing to help him.
The following day, Gregory accompanied David to the hospital, where he settled the $70,000 bill they had to pay. It included a year’s worth of maintenance medicine for Rachel so that she and David could enjoy their retirement in peace while having the chance to save up some money from David’s monthly pension.
Since then, Gregory and his family started visiting David and Rachel, and they became good friends. Gregory saw David and Rachel as his second parents and made sure to take care of them as he knew it was what his late dad would have wanted.
What can we learn from this story?
- Your kindness will one day make itself back to you one way or another. David saved his comrade years ago, only for his comrade’s son to find him years later. Gregory decided to repay David’s kindness by settling his wife’s medical bills, as they never forgot the kind deed he did for his father.
- The elderly deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and compassion. Having worked hard and lived long and fruitful lives working hard, the elderly should enjoy their retirement days. It is important to treat the elderly we see every day with kindness, respect, and compassion.