A 99–year–old woman was saddened when a store cashier told her that she was too old to be attended to — fortunately, it was all a mistake.
Margaret Stonehale was one of a kind. She was 99 years old but was still very active, and everyone in her neighborhood knew her because of that.
The woman had lived in the same house with her husband Bob for decades until he passed away at the age of 60 after a long and tough battle with cancer.
After his death, she never remarried, and she started to take exercise and body fitness very seriously because she was determined not to lose her life the same way.
Margaret was also very friendly, and she enjoyed the respect of her neighbors who thought she was different. Usually, people as old as her were often grumpy, but she was different.
At 99, the woman still spoke with clarity and was always full of energy; she shared by taking part in different activities, including exercises.
This was partly because she was a fitness enthusiast and had never missed a single day of exercise since her husband died, until her doctor warned her to stop — she was 80 at the time.
“But I don’t want to stop, my pilates and routines are my life,” she had complained after landing in the hospital for overworking her frail body.
“You have to Margaret,” her doctor, Pete Wilkins, told her patiently. “If you must exercise at all, restrict it to walking a few times per week and nothing too extravagant.”
Of course, Margaret had not listened, and she had once more landed in the hospital before she agreed to take the doctor’s advice.
Ten years later, she was studious about going on walks; dusk was her favorite time to set out because she loved to watch the sunset. The tenacious old woman also insisted on getting her things done by herself.
“No one is going to treat me like an invalid in my own home, you hear me?” she would tell her kids whenever they came to visit. One day, a cashier offered Margaret a great opportunity while she shopped for groceries.
“Ma’am, can I talk to you?” he said when he walked up to her.
“Yes, you can,” she said, and he went ahead to tell her about the credit card.
“If you open a credit card with this department store you’ll have the opportunity to save up to $10 on your purchases,” he said.
“That does sound nice, sign me up,” she replied.
“Great decision Ma’am, now if you could just hand over your driver’s license, I’ll get your credit card approved.”
Margaret quickly rummaged through her handbag for her license and handed it over to the cashier, who asked her to wait for the approval.
However, several minutes passed, and Margaret heard nothing from the cashier. “Is anything the matter?” she asked him, curious to know why it was taking so long.
“I’m sorry, we can’t give you a credit card because you are too old,” the cashier hesitantly replied.
“What do you mean I’m too old? Is that a crime?” Margaret asked.
“No ma’am it’s not, but the computer says that your card can’t be activated because of an issue with your age. I’m sorry,” he replied and returned her license.
The interaction made Margaret feel sad, so she quickly rounded up her shopping and returned home.
After she left, the cashier, who was feeling unhappy about the whole affair, reached out to the tech guru he knew and complained of the problem.
The guru wanted to know what the error message said, and when he heard it, he told the cashier to cross-check the details he had entered into the system.
It turned out that the problem wasn’t that Margaret was too old, it’s that she was too young — or so the computer thought.
The guru wanted to know what the error message said, and when he heard it, he told the cashier to cross-check the details he had entered into the system | Source: Pexels
The credit card check system required the last two digits of Margaret’s birth year, which was 1921, and the cashier input the year as “21” — which the computer registered as 2021.
That would not only have made Margaret under 18 but technically too young to even be able to walk — it instantly disqualified the elderly woman.
The following day, the cashier traced Margaret’s address and sent an apology from the store as well as a note from him detailing his mistake and asking that she forgive his sloppiness.
She accepted his apology and invited him to her 100th-year birthday party, which was organized by her children.
Joe, the cashier, honored that invitation and made her special day unforgettable by giving her a small camera.
“I hear you love sunsets,” he said. “Here is something that will help you capture more of it.”
Margaret loved the camera so much that she went around with it, and whenever she saw something she would like to immortalize, she took a picture of it.
The woman lived happily for two more years before she finally passed away in her sleep. When her daughter found her, the woman had her camera in her hands and a smile on her face.
What did we gain from this story?
Apologize when you’re wrong. Joe realized a little too late that the fault was with him for entering the wrong date into the computer, but he was able to remedy that disaster by sending a letter of apology as well as turning up on Margaret’s birthday to give her a gift that brought her perpetual happiness.
Staying fit is crucial to healthy living. Unlike people her age, Margaret was active, and this was because of her devotion to fitness and exercise. It gave her strong bones and a healthy body that allowed her to be full of energy so that she wore her age with grace until she passed.
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