It’s no secret that I generally dislike my crap part-time job. As soon as I have completed my last shift and have run out the door laughing I’ll fully explain why, but until then just know that it’s just not usually a terribly lovely place to work.
But every once in a while something happens that makes me grateful that I was there in that moment.
Today I had such a moment. In the midst of a crazy hectic shift where I had nearly lost all faith in humanity and was convinced that there was a sign somewhere outside the door that read “We don’t like manners in here! Come on in and be RUDE! We looooooove rude! And mean! WOO”.
Seriously. People were just not happy today. Which makes me not happy. And I don’t like that.
And then this little old man came in. He poked around the store for a while before finally bringing up his cart to the front. He had a random collection of items and spent no more than 12 dollars. When he came up, quietly smiled and said “Hello”, I was seriously taken aback. (Someone talking TO me and not AT me? Whoa. Progress!)
I decided to forget allllllll the meanness I had just encountered and poured all the goodness I had left in me into making his stay at my store a pleasant one. As I was helping him put his things into a box, he softly said, “This is my first time shopping, you know.”
I took that to mean that it was his first time shopping in my store, so I laughed a little and congratulated him on finding the best things in the store to buy on his first visit.
He looked up at me, gave me a small, sad smile and said, “Thank you… my wife usually did all the shopping. She just passed away and this is my first time.”
My heart lurched into my throat and I choked out my apologies for his loss as he continued, looking at his wedding band: “We were married for 67 years. She was my best friend.”
Then this wonderful man who had just lost the love of his life began to cry at my cash register. It was every thing I could do to not run around the counter and hug him… but he smiled through his tears, gave me a little wave and hurried out the door.
The customer behind him was already throwing her items at me before I could do anything more, and I nearly forgot about it until a few minutes ago when this song came on my random iTunes shuffle:
I’m so thankful that I had that one, small moment today to catch a glimpse of real, life-long love and remember that there are still good people in the world. I just hope that was I able to offer a small bit of kindness to him as he goes through this difficult time.
Not that I’m rushing old age, but I honestly can’t wait to grow old with the Hubster. He is my best friend and the love of my life. (and we do our grocery shopping together.)
Five years down, sixty-two to go. :)