When Ellie found out her 86-year-old customer would be spending Christmas alone, she came up with the most heartwarming plan.
The grocery store is a great place to go and get your essentials. Things like canned goods, fresh vegetables, and toiletries can all be found there.
But there’s one essential thing we don’t always think about finding at the grocery store: friendship.
An unlikely bond was formed over the holidays as a grocery store employee heard that one of her regular customers would be spending Christmas alone.
When she heard that, she took it upon herself to make his holiday a bit brighter.
After three years on the job, a young grocery store employee thought that nothing was going to surprise her.
Ellie Walker was just your typical grocery store employee. At age 22 she was working at the British chain grocery store Sainsbury’s, but she had not thought about it as a place to make connections.
She loved her job for the ability to make small talk with the customers and other employees that she ran into.
Ellie considers herself an outgoing person but she had not thought that it was going to go this far.
When one customer told her a fact that broke her heart, she decided to do something about it.
86-year old Edwin Holmes told her he had no one to spend Christmas Day with.
Edwin mentioned that at his age, he had no close friends or family left to spend the holiday with.
His wife passed away in 2006 after 45 years of marriage.
Furthermore, his daughter and grandchildren live in Australia, so they are not able to spend the holidays together.
That meant that he would be spending the day alone, and Ellie hated the thought of that.
So she invited him to share a Christmas meal with her so they could have a special memory together.
One detail in particular caused Ellie to burst into tears.
Ellie and Edwin were both excited for their meal. Edwin even showed up to dinner with a bouquet of flowers for Ellie and all dressed up in a suit.
He told her that this dinner was his first date in 55 years.
In addition, he was nervous, a fact that hit Ellie so hard that she started to cry. It meant a lot to her to see his excitement.
Ellie always thought highly of Edwin, so to be able to make a special memory with him meant a lot to her.
She tells The Sun:
“He is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite customer. He is the cutest man and so chatty. I thought if it was my granddad and he was alone I would want someone to talk to him.”
It’s so important that she did something to bring Edwin some company, because loneliness can have severe health consequences on us, especially for older adults.
According to WebMD, loneliness can trigger or worsen dementia, it can lead to extra stress, and it increases your risk of early death in general.
In addition to making us feel happier, spending time with other people is literally a lifesaver.
This one Christmas dinner turned into a deeper friendship.
Who would have thought that so much could come from the grocery store?
Since their first Christmas dinner date, Ellie and Edwin have kept up a routine of regularly spending time together.
Now they often meet up to have coffee and talk about their lives.
Although they enjoy this new routine, it’s not surprising because they always enjoyed talking to one another at the grocery store.
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