To the Montrose Stranger Who Gave Me His Buddy Poppy, You Have No Idea What It Meant to Me
Last week was pretty much a blur. I feel like I went through each day in just motions. Wake up, get dressed, make breakfast, make phone calls. I don't remember much of the week but deep sadness has a way of doing that to a person.
I was feeding extra mouths and needed to pick up more milk, bread, eggs, and such and so I ran to Price Chopper in Montrose. Even though I had a list in my hand, I still found myself pushing my cart in circles in a really strange fog that I've never experienced before.
While standing in front of the milk display trying to remember what type of milk we always drink, a gentleman walked up to me with something in his hand. He looked at me with a kind smile and said, "I don't know why, but I feel like you need this and I want to give it to you."
I reached out and took the object from his hand and saw that it was a VFW Buddy Poppy flower. I choked back tears, thanked him, grabbed the first jug of milk within reach, paid for my groceries, and rushed to my car where I sat and wept.
On November 1, my grandfather passed away and it was the hardest blow to ever hit me. My grandfather was my father-figure and one of my very best buddies. He was also a veteran who my siblings and I called Poppy (shortened to Pop when we grew up).
There was no way the stranger who handed me the poppy could have known that my Poppy had just passed away or that he was a veteran. To the kind stranger who gave me his Buddy Poppy without knowing why he was being pushed to do so, I would like to say thank you for going with your gut even though it must have felt strange. Your action of following your heart touched mine in a massive way and helped me get out some big emotions I'd been holding back. My heart felt so much less heavy after that good cry. Thank you.
If you don't know about the VFW Buddy Poppy program, it's a pretty great one. The VFW Buddy Poppy program helps to provide financial assistance to veterans who help to put the poppies together, helps to maintain state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs, and also helps some with the VFW National Home For Children. You can learn more about the initiative here.