It’s been a difficult couple of years for Therra Gwyn-Jaramillo – but a simple act of kindness from a famous musician has restored her faith in humanity.
Since her husband died of brain cancer in 2014, Gwyn-Jaramillo has been financially supporting herself, her house, and her disabled brother, as well as her four rescue dogs, her two cats, and her blind old chicken. Her troubles came to a tee last week when she was hit with a $4,000 home repair and she wasn’t properly paid for her work as a freelance writer.
“I was too embarrassed to say out loud I was having financial difficulty, but it was a solid problem. I was making rice for me and the dogs to eat. I was losing sleep. I was crying daily. I rationed gas in my car,” wrote the woman from Georgia. “It was breaking me in pieces. I was scared of the future, immediate and long-term.”
Seeing that she was in a tough place, her friend surprised her with a $250 Whole Foods gift card.
Ordinarily, Gwyn-Jaramillo could not afford to shop at the grocery story, but with the gift in hand, she says that she was salivating at the thought of “fresh fruit” and “real dog food for the pups”.
When she did her shopping at the store in Atlanta, however, she realized that she had accidentally gotten her groceries mixed up with the items belonging to the “handsome stranger” in front of her.
Gwyn-Jaramillo apologized to the man and tried to sort the groceries properly, but he simply said “I might as well get it.”
“He wanted to buy food for my pets,” writes the widow. “I even clumsily tried to stop the cashier at a certain amount, because the gift card was for $250 and I had gone way over, which at Whole Foods is far too easy to do. I was out of a lot of things at home and I hadn’t added things in my head correctly. My head hasn’t worked all month due to stress. Nothing has worked all month.
“He stopped me. ‘I said I got this,’ he said. All of this, he told me. All of my groceries.”
Gwyn-Jaramillo started crying and insisted on hugging the man, thanking him for his kindness. When she asked him for his name, he simply said “Chris”.
“I thanked him, but I was so stunned that even as we made small talk (he asked me about my four dogs) I tripped over my words, all the while thinking, ‘I’m talking to an angel. Should I tell him? Should I tell him he’s an angel?’” says Gwyn-Jaramillo. “‘Who ARE you?’ I asked at one point, in true wonder. ‘Just a guy,’ he said.’”
The compassionate stranger paid for all $375 of her groceries before making sure that she was okay and asking if she needed anything else. Awestruck, she tearfully said that she wanted to be like him when she grew up.
The man smiled and said that she was sweet enough for taking care of rescue dogs. Then, he left.
As it turns out, the mystery stranger wasn’t “just a guy” – he was the Grammy award-winning rap artist Ludacris.
After he left, the cashier told Gwyn-Jaramillo of the man’s actual identity – and she was stunned. Coincidentally, Ludacris is one of her favorite rappers, but she had not been able to place his face when confronted with the heartwarming situation.
“What Ludacris had no way of knowing is that his quiet kindness and generous gesture came at a moment when my candle was out,” says Gwyn-Jaramillo. “He used his personal light to fire up my own. Isn’t that what we should be doing for each other? I think it is.
“Be like Ludacris y’all.”
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