After 30 years of service with American Airlines, Anna retired after her 50th birthday. One day in June, she stopped at the local service station where she regularly get her gas and occasionally buy a lottery ticket. Millie was on duty. She is a kind and loving soul who always has a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. On that evening, Anna and Millie joked and laughed as they had so many times in the past. Anna teased Millie by saying that she would give her $1,000 if she won the $10 million lottery. Millie said that if Anna won she’d better take her to Paris for lunch. As Anna drove off, she thought how interesting it was that for her, “lottery” equal $10 million, while for Millie, it meant lunch in Paris. Millie didn’t know her connection with the airlines.
Around the 21st of December, Anna was once again at the service station. Millie was on duty. Anna handed her a Christmas card and asked her to open and read it. Millie opened the card and started reading:
In June this year, you sold me this lottery ticket (enclosed). Well I didn’t win the $10 million lottery, but you did. Pick your date next year, pack your bags, and get your passport ready for your luncheon trip to Paris. This is my gift to you for going out of your way to make everyone you come into contact feeling special. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Millie could not contain herself. She was literally thrashing around in the little cubicle. Anna could hardly contain herself, either. At that moment, Anna understood what it meant to create special moments for the people in our lives.
Over the next few weeks, Anna has seen Millie several times. Each time she entered the service station, Millie’s face lighted up as she reached across the half-opened door to hug Anna. Millie spoke of how she still “just can’t believe it”, how she phoned her mum, told her boss, and on and on. But what touched Anna the most was when Millie told her, “Anna, it says in my will that if I died before I got that lunch, my instructions were to have my ashes sprinkled over Paris.”