Friday, January 10, 2014

The Peacock Family Tragedy

I live in a small town and because I work in the local hardware store, where almost everyone winds up at one time or another in search of some needed item, I know most of the citizens by face if not by name. So when I see a news account of a local family who has suffered a loss I take interest and wonder how I can help them out.

And so it was when I read of a fire that had destroyed the home of Richard and Diane Peacock - Diane is a regular customer whom I know by both face and name and I knew at once that I wanted to help. Freeport is a caring community that looks out for its own and by the time I learned of the need someone had already established a fund at the local credit union to receive contributions on behalf of the victims, so providing some financial aid was easy. Still, I hoped to do more. And of course Providence intervened to make that possible.

Rick and Diane came into the store while I happened to be working - they had been in previously to purchase a very small item for the home that a neighbor vacationing in Florida had offered for their use until their home could be replaced. As it turns out, they got the wrong part and needed to exchange it and I happily offered to help them.

We found the part they needed without difficulty and they were glad to have it, but as they looked around the store they found several other items that they needed in their new, temporary home (they lost everything in the fire) and by the time we arrived back at the register they had quite an armload of goodies and I allowed as how some special pricing was in order. OK, here comes Providence.

My boss, the new owner of the store, was near the register so I introduced him to the Peacocks and briefly told them their story. By sheer coincidence (for lack of a better term) he had JUST received an email from his wife who had just read a news account of the fire and wanted to do something to help the victims. Call it Karma, kismet, fate or whatever, but Woody (he's the owner) had just learned of the loss from his wife, who was spending the holidays in a far-away state, and now he was standing face-to-face with the victims - needless to say, he was in a very generous mood!

When Rick and Diane left the store they had the right part to replace the one they had purchased earlier, plus the items they added on the way back to the register, plus a few things that Woody felt would be helpful - all free, because the forces of the universe all combined to make such a thing happen. You may call it luck, and maybe that's all it is - I don't have any better explanation for why things worked out that way, but I do have my suspicions. Whatever you call it, I'm glad for the minor role I was able to play in helping, in a small way, some good folks get back on their feet after a tragic loss.

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