“Financially it wasn’t the best growing up, but our mom made it the best for us kids. She always showed us a heart of gold and treated everyone fairly. No excuses! My mom is Hispanic. I’m a mix of Hispanic and Portuguese, but you’d think I’m fully white. So, of course, growing up you’d think I wouldn’t ‘understand racism,’ but I have firsthand.
First, you have to understand our culture and what has happened. Growing up I would be told by other minorities that I was just another person with white privilege trying to fit in. Tore me up because that’s not who I was. I’ve seen it. I understand it. I’m with you!
A year ago, my mom, siblings, nieces, and nephews and my 2 kids that are mixed like my husband (Spanish and Polish) and myself (Hispanic Portuguese) took a trip to Disneyland and casually stopped at a target. My mom and siblings, who are a lot darker than me and obviously Hispanic, were questioned by other customers. They asked the kids if they were okay, as if, you know, you can’t have mixed children or grandchildren…(Eye roll). It’s heartbreaking for anyone who ever has to deal with such madness.
Fast forward to May 7th, 2020, we paid it forward to a family who had all their groceries rung up but couldn’t find their debit card. I saw this woman in distress, so I went up to her at the checkout and asked if there was a problem. I told her not to worry and we would pay for her groceries. She blessed us, we had a small conversation, and we went our ways. The cashier thanked us countless times, but it wasn’t about the thank you’s. It was about us helping when we can. 15 minutes later, we were outside. She and her husband came up to us and thanked us again. She touched our hearts and we decided to give them some cash. The woman asked us why, and I said, ‘If we can help someone else and pay it forward, we will.’
Tonight May 30th, 2020, we’re in the line waiting to check out and a lady approaches us. When we look up, we notice it’s the same lady, Sister Latrice. She explains to us they didn’t understand the meaning of ‘pay it forward, and they decided to educate themselves on the acts of this phrase. Ever since that night they were blessed, they paid it forward to a few other people and offered to pay for us.
I told her ‘With what you would be helping us with right now, you could bless more people.’ Other families are hurting more than us. As she stood there talking to us, we exchanged numbers and proceeded to explain how god has plans. ‘You guys were there that night for us because it was his plan. When you don’t expect nor accept the return, it’ll be something bigger.
Just with that little bit, it was a huge blessing.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kayla Jay. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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