A Big Surprise To Everyone
It would never have occurred to anyone to imagine someone like her working in an environment like this.
She couldn't hide or ignore this part of herself. What about those who wanted her to stop? That's just ridiculous. Although no one believed her, she attributed her long life to her time at McDonald's.
Ruth Shuster wiped off the burger crumbs from the last messy table.
Things were slow that afternoon, so there was plenty of time to make sure each spot was sparkling for the next customer. The regulars knew all about her sunny disposition, but it was the new ones she loved to surprise – usually with a song.
Big Day Coming
The commotion around her had been building for weeks.
Ruth chuckled as her co-workers tried to whisper birthday plans when they thought she couldn’t hear. She might have been 99, about to turn 100, but thankfully her ears worked fine. It was funny. They had a vastly different attitude about her coming milestone.
Ruth grinned at her co-workers’ excitement over the big day. But to Ruth, 100 was just another number.
Still, she knew there would be tons of birthday cards coming in, so the McDonald’s store, where she worked as a greeter, had done something lovely. They had got her a special mailbox.
It sat just outside the store with a huge glitter sign and photos of her working or dancing. She loved dancing! But thanks to lockdown nothing was happening anymore.
The other thing that filled her life with joy was the three days a week she would come into the fast-food joint and help customers. It turned out, however, her manager had different plans for her.
“Retire?!” she exclaimed. “Oh heavens no.” It was sweet of the young man to worry, but there was no way she was going to stop working.
The money wasn’t much, but it was enough to pay the bills and live an okay life – what more could someone ask for? But he did have another question.
It was a question she got all the time – How have you lived so long?
Everyone wanted to know how and old lady like her could walk around a place that most people considered “low-end” employment while keeping her energy and smile. The answer came in three important parts.
First, after the devastating loss her husband at 50, she realized something.
Life was indeed short. People could leave at any time. So, it was important to embrace every moment on this Earth. Life was a gift, and people should be grateful for it and not let it go to waste. The second key was simple.
Stay active. Her family had their own lives. They visited when they could, but it wasn’t that often.
So, Ruth made sure she had friends nearby. They would chat, try new crafts, go dancing or walking. Finally, she credits McDonald’s for her stretch of long years.
Ruth had worked in the store for over 30 years. She loved seeing the smiles of children as they came in for the kid’s menu.
The elderly community was also a cornerstone of their clientele and she would keep on the latest news in their lives and make them feel like they were at home. Fridays were especially important.
Ruth adored singing. Even if she was a little off-key, she would belt out “You are my sunshine” for everyone that came in with a “Friday frown”.
It was extra wonderful when the rest of the store joined in. The menu might have just been burgers and fries, but there was a special secret within.
It brought people under the same roof. It was a chance for her to get a small ray of light into their lives.
Seeing a grumpy face turn bright and happy was the best thing. That’s why she would never retire. But it’s also why the mailbox was overflowing.
The staff had set up bins in the back to hold the letters and gifts that came pouring in.
Ruth couldn’t help but laugh at the youngsters who poked and leafed through the unopened surprises like it was Christmas Day. But she wouldn’t open them yet.
She would wait for her actual birthday. Then, she would go through each one carefully and jot down a note to write a thank you card.
She heard more whispers about cake and ice cream as the bins filled. Ruth grinned as a busload of kids pulled in from a field trip.
Loves Her Job
These kids were already smiling, but she would still give them a song.
They rushed in with excited expressions. It was like having her grandchildren visit. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted her manager’s grin. Yep, he understood why this 99-year-old, soon to be 100, lady would never stop working.
Ruth Shuster had always been a hard worker. Even at 100 years old, she was still going strong. She had worked at McDonald's for the past 30 years and loved every minute of it.
Now her manager could see that she stayed for the friends, not for the paycheck. She wanted to be there.
In For The Perks
The customers always made her happy. She enjoyed chatting with them and hearing about their lives. It gave her a sense of purpose and kept her feeling young.
The centennial didn’t know how much she meant to her community and was shocked by their gesture.
Loved By All
On the day of her 100th birthday, the kids at McDonald's threw her a surprise party. They sang "Happy Birthday" to her and presented her with a cake. Ruth was touched by their thoughtfulness and grateful for their friendship.
She was smiling inside and out. All along, her friends had thought of her.
Ruth Shuster had been working at McDonald's for 30 years. She was a beloved employee and a fixture in the community. She was always cheerful and had a smile on her face, no matter how busy or stressful the shift was.
Everyone at McDonald's knew Ruth and loved her, and they were all excited to celebrate her 100th birthday.
As the day approached, the kids who worked at McDonald's started planning a special surprise for Ruth.
They knew how much she loved being around them and how much she enjoyed making people happy, so they wanted to do something special for her. The graceful lady had no clue what was cooking, especially for her.
Happy Birthday Ruth
The kids gathering around the counter for her and singing "Happy Birthday" to her was the best gift. Ruth was overwhelmed with emotion, and tears welled up in her eyes.
She had never expected such a beautiful gesture from the kids and was touched by their thoughtfulness.
After the song, the kids presented Ruth with a beautiful bouquet and a card they had all signed. Ruth was so happy and grateful for their kind words and gifts.
She hugged everyone and thanked them for making her day so special. She was not alone after all.
Grateful To All
Despite her age, Ruth was still very fit and healthy. She attributed her good health to her active lifestyle and positive attitude. She had always believed in the power of hard work and determination.
She engaged with all the customers and spoke to everybody. The kind lady even handed out cake to everyone.
As she stood there, surrounded by her coworkers and customers, Ruth couldn't help but feel grateful for her long and fulfilling life.
She had always loved her job at McDonald's and had no plans to retire anytime soon. This surprise made her feel more special than ever.
In fact, Ruth hoped to continue working at McDonald's for many more years to come. She loved the fast-paced environment and the sense of community that came with it.
The customers at McDonald's meant the world to Ruth. She enjoyed getting to know them and making them feel welcome. She took pride in her work and went above and beyond to ensure every customer left with a smile.
For Ruth, there was no place she would rather be than at McDonald's. It was where she felt most alive and where she truly belonged.
As the day went on, Ruth received well wishes from customers and fellow employees. She felt truly loved and appreciated, and it was a day she would never forget.
Never Back Down
Even though Ruth was 100 years old, she was still as spry and active as ever. She walked to work every day and never complained about the long hours or the hard work.
She was a true inspiration to everyone who knew her. She was a pillar of strength to the community.
After her shift, Ruth walked home with a spring in her step and a smile. She knew she had been blessed with a long and fulfilling life and was grateful for every moment.
She had no regrets and looked forward to many more years of happiness and hard work.
Feeling Of Fulfillment
As the sun set on Ruth's 100th birthday, she reflected on all the people and experiences that had shaped her life. She knew she had been blessed with a loving family, supportive friends, and a fulfilling career.
She was grateful for everything and knew she had lived a truly blessed life.
Life Well Lived
Ruth continued to work at McDonald's, spreading joy and cheer to all those who crossed her path. She was a true inspiration and a testament to the power of hard work and determination.
Unfortunately, she passed away soon after. Her friends and family were with her. She will be greatly missed and always remembered.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.