red sparkly shoes

          Last week, my 4-year-old daughter, Lexie, and I went shopping at Meijer.  While we were in the checkout lane, something happened that deeply touched my soul.  I have not been able to stop thinking about it.  So, although it doesn’t have anything to do with horses, I thought I would share it here.  It does have something to do with connection, though.

          The lady in front of us appeared to be helping the elderly gentleman ahead of her with his grocery purchase as she also took care of unloading her cart.  She seemed to have a lot to be in charge of.

          There were a couple items behind the divider stick that you place in between the grocery orders, so I was waiting to unload our cart.  As we were waiting, Lexie and I were playing a game where she went around the cart, and my arms were the drawbridge.  This was just something to amuse her while we waited in line.  So, we were absorbed in our activity when the lady in front of us apologized profusely for her items being on the wrong side of the divider.  I told her that was absolutely not a problem, and began to unload our stuff.

          As Lexie was “helping” me, the lady turned to me and asked me what my daughter’s name was.  I told her, and she said, “Lexie, my daughter used to have red sparkly shoes just like yours.  They are so pretty!”  Lexie told her thank you, and went back to putting our groceries on the checkout lane.  This is something that she loves to do, and kept her attention while the lady and I shared red sparkly shoes stories.  Her daughter had to have replacement pairs bought from Target, and I shared that Lexie’s started out as part of her Cinderella Halloween costume, but now were everyday attire.

          I turned to monitor what was happening with our cart, when the lady turned back around to me.  “I know this is going to sound odd,”  she said.  “But, would you please take this $5 and buy Lexie something special for her Easter basket.”.  She was handing me a five dollar bill, which I hesitated to take at first.  Then, she said, “Please.  I lost my daughter to brain cancer.”

          I stood there reeling from the information, and then managed to reach out and take her gift.  I can’t even describe the emotions that I was experiencing, and the compassion I had for this mother.  A million questions flitted through my mind, but I didn’t ask them for fear of opening up a wound when the timing was not right.  When I could finally speak again, I quietly asked her what was something that her daughter would have loved to have in her Easter basket.  “Bubbles,” she whispered with a smile.  We spoke softly so as not to let Lexie hear we were talking about Easter Baskets.

          As the lady turned to leave, I touched her shoulder so that she would turn around.  “I know that this may sound odd,”  I said, “and I would really like to hug you.”  We shared a hug, and then she was gone, and the attendant was greeting me and asking if I had any coupons or bottle returns.

          As the groceries were being rung up, I knelt down and hugged Lexie.  The encounter with this special lady left me feeling quite shifted and emotional.  The feeling stayed with me, in fact, it hasn’t completely gone away yet.

          The next morning, as I was getting Lexie some breakfast, and straightening up in the kitchen, she asked me if we had any bubbles.  I got chills when I heard her request.  I went down into the basement, and, luckily, found a bottle stored down there.  I brought it up and poured some of it into something smaller and got her situated with the wand.  Yes, I am one of those mothers.  I let her blow bubbles in the house.

          I found it interesting that she asked for the bubbles the next morning, and not right after we left Meijer the day before.  That made me think that she really hadn’t heard any of the interaction I had with the lady about her daughter’s favorite Easter gift.  And, Lexie went through that whole bottle of bubbles that day.  As if she had a friend blowing them with her……