As a writer and an avid reader, I know how powerful words are and yet, I learned last week that sometimes there isn’t enough power attached to the words to convey the amount of emotion being felt. On July 4th my bank called to notify me that someone had fraudulently pulled out a large chunk of money out of our account at an ATM machine. The bank cancelled our cards and refunded the money. The only hitch was that the new debit card would take up to seven to ten business days to be delivered. No big deal, I thought, grateful that the person hadn’t completely cleaned out our account and that the bank had caught the error. I figured I’d  use our only credit card, an American Express, until I received our new debit cards.

It worked until four days later when I decided to take the kiddos to the zoo. The youngest one, who is five, had only been to the zoo when she’d been too little to remember it and she was super excited, which in turn ramped up the other two kids. So, we all piled into the minivan and drove forty-five minutes to discover that the zoo doesn’t take American Express. I stood at the window feeling desperate and a little upset.

“Do you take checks?” I asked.  No they didn’t.

“Do you know where a bank is so I can cash one?” The poor kid who couldn’t be more than seventeen had no clue.

I pulled my oldest to my side and said to the kids, “Sorry sweeties.” There was no way I was driving home and driving back.

The kid at the window must have heard the angst and pain in my voice because he slid a receipt and map through the window. “Show that at the turnstile and they’ll let you in.”

I might’ve misted up, pretty sure at least one tear slid down my cheek. “Thank you,” I said in a voice choked with emotion.  I tried to say it again, but clearer. Nothing came out. The kid nodded and I gathered my children and walked to the turnstile. We had a fantastic time and thankfully had packed lunch and a little treat, which allowed us to stay until we had achy feet and sore calf muscles.

Here it is almost a week later and I still feel that those two words are too small, too empty, to convey the amount of gratitude that is still burning inside of me. So to the kid out there, thank you again for helping my family to have a fun filled day together. I’ll never forget you or your kindness.