Bailey has had a touch of the flu and was pretty much down for the count for about 24 hours. Today he tried to go to school, but did not make it the day. Thankfully I work in a place that is flexible and could leave and finish working from home. The poor child slept for almost 3 hours and when he awoke he was a different kid. Suddenly he was his ornery self-which anyone that knows my kid, knows what I mean.
As I surveyed my buggy of rotisserie chicken and shells and cheese this sweet lady stopped me as though we were old friends and began a conversation about the high cost of food. As I talked to her I could not help but think she looked familiar, like my grandmother. She talked about how it was cheaper to eat out than cook and how a simple meal for just herself yielded leftovers for a week. She did not say these things in a manner of complaint, but just as fact. As she held her saltine crackers and honey wheat bread she talked about watching a man steal candy in front of his children the night before and how 'right is right, wrong is wrong.' She talked about how blessed she was and as long as she has crackers, bananas, and peanut butter she will do just fine. She talked about being a Christian and listening to Christian radio even as she slept adding that she wakes up singing and thanks God every morning for being able to put her feet on the floor because there are so many that cannot. She had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye as she talked.
The conversation couldn't have lasted more than two or three minutes, but it was long enough to leave an impression and teach me a lesson. I think I am a pretty grateful person, but she reminded me that there is so much in this life to be thankful for and that we can never know how much simple contact can mean to another person. I walked away from our little conversation with a smile on my face and a prayer in my heart that I will be a blessing to those I have contact with and that I will always appreciate the gifts in my life.
I looked for this woman as I made my way to the checkout stand. I wondered how she got to the store and if she would need help getting home. In the couple of minutes it took me to get to the checkout stand she was gone. I did not see her in the parking lot or anywhere near the front. Was she an angel? Probably not. But for a few brief moments she was an angel to me delivering a gentle smile and sweet nature, much like my grandmother did before she passed. You can trust that the next time I see some Reese's peanut butter I will think of her.