Monday, January 24, 2022

An Anonymous Package—And a Memory

A huge—anonymous—package arrived at our house. Mike and I gingerly brought it inside and opened it with trepid hands.

As if looking for buried treasures, I pulled numerous ice packs from the packaging.

“Ummm…,” Mike glanced at me, probably remembering scenes from every murder mystery he’s ever watched. 

What did someone send to us that needed to be frozen?! 

Yet, we continued on—because we’re not quitters! And after removing several section of bubble wrap, Mike said,” Someone sent us a…frozen…” we continued digging, “pizza from Little Caesars?!” Mike is hilarious, and at this point his eyes lit with childlike wonder. (You’d think he’s never seen raw dough.) The kids were pretty excited too.

Anyway, this generous act of kindness made me realize that I should tell you how I met Raymond Lowery.

The "Little Caesars Dancing Man” worked tirelessly, spinning his sign on the corner of Antelope and Main seemingly all day, every day. He beamed, so happy and ALWAYS kind.
     My kids were still quite little, and they’d smile and point as he’d spin the sign on his foot and flip it over his head. And no matter what kind of crappy mood I’d be in, this stranger would always make my day better.
    In fact, I received some really bad news one particular afternoon—but as I drove home, I spotted the Little Caesars Dancing Man, just rockin’ away to some unheard beat. The light turned red, so I continued watching his complete exuberance for life. I fully realized then; he's perpetually happy even though he's out there, working in the blistering sun or the freezing cold. He waves back and smiles. You’d think he didn’t have a worry in the world, but in actuality, he must have been so tired.

That day, I turned right instead of going straight home, parked by the dancing man, and decided to meet a legend! 

“I’m Raymond.” He grinned, offering me his hand.

“I’m Elisa!” I smiled back, and I knew an awesome friendship had begun. Then I told him what an inspiration he is—how he might not know it, but he makes life better every day for people like me and my family. He grew very quiet and thanked me. I could tell the words probably meant far more than I would ever know.

When I got home, I friend requested Raymond, and then blogged about my experience.

A couple of weeks later, I received something amazing in the mail—a letter from Little Caesars’ corporate office! They’d actually read my blog and sent two $20 gift cards! They had one request: for me to keep a card and give one to someone else. I remember reading the letter in the post office, then I gave the second gift card to the post office employee, John. He said the story was even better than the money!

The whole thing seemed so exciting at the time. And to think, if I’d never stopped that day, I would’ve missed out on the whole adventure. 

Raymond and I have been friends for nearly 10 years now. I’ve seen him experience good and bad times, and smile the whole way through—just like he used to when he danced for Little Caesars on that corner in Layton, Utah.

So, we got a pizza from someone who’s remaining “anonymous,” and I’m extremely grateful. Thank you to whoever sent that to us! The kids absolutely loved it—and I’m happy that it brought back a memory. 

I’ve had the most wonderful people come into my life over the years. I am truly the luckiest.

I’ve had the most wonderful people come into my life over the years. I am truly the luckiest.

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