Young man brightens day for solo mom

Karen Hickman was touched by the actions of a stranger on Mother’s Day.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Karen Hickman was touched by the actions of a stranger on Mother’s Day.

DALLAS — Karen Hickman waited for her Chen’s to-go order on Sunday when a young man sitting next to her asked her how her Mother’s Day was going.

“I said, ‘OK,’” Hickman recalls. “He said, ‘only OK?’”

She explained that both of her children, a daughter, Shannon, and son, Sean, lived in different states. Hickman had nice phone conversations with both of them, but was spending the day alone. She also told him that her husband, Dave, died in September after a brief battle with cancer.

“That’s when he got up and gave me a big hug and said he was sorry,” Hickman said. “Then he started to sit down, and said, ‘You wait right here,’ and out the door he went. I’m thinking OK.”

In about 10 minutes her order was ready, and she didn’t see the man, so she walked out to her car to leave. As she was backing out of her parking spot, he came running up to her car with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

“I roll down the window and he says, ‘I want to give you these and Happy Mother’s Day,’” Hickman said.

With tears in eyes, she reached through the window to give him a hug.

“I said thank you so much and I asked what his name was, and he said Josh,” Hickman said.

She didn’t get his last name before he climbed into a car and disappeared. Hickman believes he’s about 18 or 19 years old.

“That’s pretty much all I know,” she said.

The flowers he gave her are on the kitchen counter of her Dallas home, next to a bouquet her daughter sent her. Hickman said she wants to thank him for his kindness.

“I just felt that this was something that other people should hear about because I don’t feel you see that anymore, people expressing themselves or being so giving of themselves,” she said.

If all goes as planned, she will spend her next Mother’s Day with Shannon. Hickman is in the process of moving to San Antonio to be closer to her daughter.

But she said she won’t forget the young man who made a difficult Mother’s Day brighter.

“A stranger going to spend his money on flowers for me, I thought that was extra special,” she said.

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