When you've lost someone you love, especially a child, every day, and every moment really, is a fog of grief, but if you're lucky, light sneaks in there, too. After losing my baby, I can tell you that for me, helping others has brought some joy to my life. That's why I was so deeply touched by the story of a grandfather who channeled his pain over losing his grandson into happiness for another little boy.
In a post shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page a mom named Alyssa Hacker shared a story that will also touch your heart. "This Momma just cried in the middle of Target," she wrote along with a caption of her son holding stuffed animals as he sat in his red cart. "We were at Target waiting on Grammi and we found some dinosaurs," Hacker continued. "Owen grabbed all 3 and we were trying to pick out which one he wanted when Owen abruptly yelled 'HI' at this older man walking past us."
The man turned around and started playing dinosaurs with Owen, Hacker goes on to explain. "With this crazy world we live in I was a little hesitant as to how close he was with Owen," she then admitted. But what happened next is when she realized he meant no harm.
"The man got his wallet out and pulled $20 out, he put it in Owen's pocket on his shirt and said 'I just lost my 2-year-old grandson last week. You take this money and buy this boy all three dinosaurs' and rubbed Owen's back, wiped his tears and walked off," the post continues. "After Owen yelled 'thank you' the gentleman turned around and yelled boomer sooner!"
Her incredible story ends with these words: "There is still some good in this world!"
I love how this grandfather was honoring loss by helping someone else to feel happy. Like him, I also take comfort in doing things like donating money to diaper banks and showing everyday kindness to children and babies. Those gestures don't make all of the hurt go away, but they offer moments of joy and hope that there is, as the mom in the post wrote, still good in the world, and that I can help spread it.
Hacker told Parents.com in an email, "At first because we live in such a crazy mixed up world I was a little hesitant to let [the man] stand there and play dinosaurs with my son, but I had a peace about it and I'm usually in protective mommy mode all the time."
About why she shared her story, Hacker says, "Almost daily I see posts on Facebook about people watching or following parents and their children in stores and it's so unsettling. I had to share my day of sunshine with my friends on Facebook and then it just took off like a wildfire."
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"I will always remember him and I'll keep those stuffed animals forever for Owen and always tell him the story," she also told us. "That man was a blessing to us and I believe Owen blessed him as well."