I have a deep thank you to offer to the kindness of a stranger.

Recently I set out to shop for dinner at Smith’s, but before I could confront the vast store aisles, I sat in my car to shed some tears — life has been pretty rough this year, and sometimes it hits me.

While sitting there, a tap on the car window startled me. I looked up, and there stood a young woman holding a bouquet of roses. When I opened the door, she told me that she’d noticed my distress, that she’d bought the roses without quite knowing why, and that she’d just realized they were for me.

I want you to know, young lady, how very much your thoughtful gesture meant to me.

It helped me get through the moment and take care of the business at hand.

The roses were our Thanksgiving table centerpiece. I do have a wonderful family to share the day with, and I’m fully aware of the trials and tribulations we all go through, but it was such an unexpected expression of grace at a particularly difficult moment; it will always remind me of what Thanksgiving is all about. Giving. And receiving with profound thanks.

Mary Parkin, Millcreek