To the lady in the milk aisle


To the woman in the Publix milk aisle on Tuesday:

Thank you. Not a frivolous thank you but an honest to goodness-you gave me one of my coolest moments of my life- you made a difference-kind of thank you. 

When you decided to say hi you had no idea that I’ve been questioning why I write of late. You didn’t know I have been paralyzed thinking that my blog was self-indulgent and worthless. 

You did not know that I am coming out of the other side of a sadness that’s made me retreat from friends and hide from life. 

You didn’t know that I am terrified of my job status, nervous about the summer when we are not as “busy” and that all this keeps me awake for hours each night. I feel worn out and I look even worse. But you didn’t see that. 

You didn’t know that saying,”you don’t know me but I read your blog,” would do for me. You didn’t know that being able to share that moment with my 14 year old daughter (who loves to write) was priceless. You didn’t see is squealing and laughing and hugging right there in the Publix parking lot. You don’t know that she had looked at me….PROUDLY…and said,”I am so excited mom. I’ve been waiting for someone to say something like that to you!” Anything that makes a teenage girl look at her mom proudly is significant. Seriously significant. 

Telling me that you enjoy reading and that you can relate gave me a validation I desperately needed. Knowing my words made another mom smile or nod as if to say oh i totally get that or I am not alone...gives me purpose. 

Right there in the milk aisle you took the time to speak. You provided encouragement and support to another mom. Do you have any idea how special that makes you???? You made a huge difference to another person. Thank you. 

Thank you for adding “I can tell you put your heart into it.” I do. Knowing someone notices that made my heart flutter. In that moment I knew joy. Simple, meaningful joy! 

You probably thought you were just buying groceries and speaking to a stranger. You didn’t know the positive impact that brief encounter would have. 

You certainly had no idea that your gesture would inspire me to pay it forward. Knowing how incredible you made me feel I was eager to make someone else feel as good. So I did. Your gesture will, hopefully, continue to have a positive ripple effect for a long time to come. 

I love to write. Writing has kept me sane, healed my heart and allowed me to NOT put my children in an orphanage (kidding). My teen daughter has my blog to thank for making it to 14. I’ve hoped to make people laugh. I’ve written when I’ve wanted to cry. I’ve used my written words to tell people how much they matter to me because I am not good at conversation or speaking what I feel. So I write. And I always worry about what I write. I am always embarrassed and fearful that I will be laughed out. Ridiculed. Scoffed at. But I keep writing. 

And you’ve read it. And you took the time to tell me you enjoyed it. 

I was buying there to buy milk because I suck at grocery shopping. Over the weekend I had purchased 3 boxes of cereal, little Debbie’s, a pre-cooked chicken…but I forgot the milk. It was one of those weeks that I’d spent my grocery money but didn’t have the makings of a meal.  I’d spent 20 minutes putting away groceries when I was asked,”what’s for dinner?” And I had nothing to offer but little Debbie’s, 3 boxes of cereal with no milk and some sparkling wine. I was kicking myself for being stupid when you spoke. 

Oh and I was feeling guilty for feeding my babies the Tuesday  $5.99 pizza from papa johns -AGAIN–and I was feeling like a slacker for throwing some pineapple and watermelon in the buggy to make it a “well rounded” meal. 

But you didn’t know any of that. You just took the time to speak and to say something nice. 

Thank you!

May we all take a few minutes each day to say something nice to a stranger .

Me

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