Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

Strawberries gift

By Xiomara Levsen

Random acts of kindness go a long way for people and one particular act of kindness stays with me to this day.
My mom and I were in downtown Dallas in 1990 at the farmers market. We were in Dallas visiting my sister, aunt and uncle.
There were probably 100 to 200 vendors set up under the metal roof, with items ranging from apricots to flowers. I remember it being very loud and very crowded.
My mom took us there to buy a bag of black beans. When she lived there, she said, this was the place to go for farm-fresh black beans, and she really wanted to bring some back with us to Iowa.
I had other ideas on my mind. I saw a vendor with a truck bed full of the brightest and biggest strawberries I had ever seen. Some were almost the size of my fist. For the first time in a week I felt like eating, because I had gotten the chicken pox right before we left Iowa for Dallas.
I asked the vendor how much the strawberries were but don’t remember how much he said. I just knew they were probably too expensive for her to purchase, so I began to walk away.
Behind me I heard another person say, “Take this $20 from me and give those strawberries to her.” Next thing I knew, someone was handing me a dozen quarts full of strawberries.
I just stood there in shock at first. Finally, I found my voice and told the man “thank you” and took the strawberries over to my mom.
She offered to pay him back for the strawberries, but he kindly refused. He just told us he was happy to make our day a little bit better.
We took the strawberries with us to my aunt and uncle’s house and gave some to my sister. We weren’t going to be able to keep them from spoiling before we made it back home to Iowa, so we made strawberry pie and jam.
This trip was really hard on us as a family, not only because my brother and I had chicken pox, but because of what my mom had to do.  My mom brought us down to Dallas to make the final arrangements for my dad. He had passed away six months before in October from lung cancer.
It was because of a stranger at the farmers market warehouse who bought me some strawberries that made the trip a little bit better for us. I will never forget this kind act.
In 1991 we went back to Dallas to visit again. I asked my mom if we could go back to the farmers market to see the strawberry vendor. We did but he wasn’t there. I wish I could have done more detective work and thanked him more.