Strangers in a Grocery Aisle


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Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby CarlaL48 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:02 am

The other morning, I had to run to the grocery store for a few items. It was early and there were very few people in the store besides staff, so I was surprised when I reached my target, the dairy department, and found an older lady absently studying the cheeses. She was riding one of the store scooters and wearing a nasal cannula attached to a small oxygen tank. I needed to get by, but didn’t want to frighten her, so I softly said, “Excuse me please.”

She turned, immediately apologetic about blocking the aisle. Then she complimented my top and asked where I’d gotten it because she, too, loves the “crayola” colors. I told her, and added that she also looks lovely in pastels as evidenced by her white eyelet blouse and orchid slacks.

When I started to pull away, she placed a slender hand on my forearm and asked, “Do you have a minute?” I looked down at the protruding veins contrasting with her hot pink nail polish, perfectly manicured. Her snow white hair fell in soft waves to her shoulders and her pale blue eyes were enhanced by a light coat of mascara and pink lipstick.

I did a quick mental calculation of my morning schedule, then reproached myself for my hesitation. I emphatically answered, “Yes, I do.”

The lady smiled and journeyed back in time to the years when her girls were young and her late husband would take them fishing, in spite of the girls’ protestations that they hated fishing. She said her husband would chuckle at the girls’ reactions to live bait. The fishers would cast their lines and chat away warm Saturday afternoons.
The girls talked about their friends in school, giggling about the “nasty” boys and sighing over the ones “to die for.” They told Dad what they wanted for Christmas, what they wanted to be when they grew up, maybe, at least for today. They confided their disappointment at losing a spelling bee and what they hoped Mom was cooking for dinner, which didn’t include fish. They laughed and revealed a million other pixels in their fertile imaginations, all indelibly captured by Dad for recapping later to Mom. Suddenly, one of the fishing-haters would interrupt excitedly, “I’ve got a bite!”

I listened, enrapt by this lady’s vivid reminiscences and teared up at the obvious joy the memories stirred. To the casual observer, I made the lady’s day – but they would be wrong. This sweet lady, my new nameless friend, allowed me a few minutes to step off the one-way train Dale and I are riding, and to glimpse the beauty still cherished by a life even as it nears the final curtain. I felt refreshed as we took our leave, and I drove the mile and a half back to Dale in our home, cognizant of a new prism through which I’d assess our lives.

Thank you, dear Lord.
CarlaL48
 
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Re: Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby Robin » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:37 am

That's quite a gift. I don't think I would've ever said "Yes, I do." That would be my loss.
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Re: Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby CarlaL48 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:52 am

Ah, dear Robin, you demonstrate "Yes, I do," with your continuing presence on this forum every day. And we are all the better for it.

XO
Carla
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Re: Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby willru602 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:36 am

Carla, I loved your story "Strangers in a Grocery Aisle"... reminds me of the small town where I live where if you have to stand still like in a line for a few minutes someone is going to start a conversation with you. I can relate to the emotions you must have experienced having cared for a husband with PSP for more than 10 years. Those grocery aisle conversations can take us into the world that "used to be" and give us hope for the future. Those unexpected conversations always remind me that everyone is going through some kind of crisis...I've heard it said that we are either in a crisis, just emerging from a crisis or we are about to enter a crisis....makes a lot of sense to me b/c life doesn't just stand still.

Thank you for your beautiful writings. I hope you are keeping a journal b/c I have a feeling that you could write a book. Your stories would be nice reading for the "Chicken Soup" series or some other similar books like Guide Posts.

And you are so right in your reply to Robin...she's always right here in the "aisle" listening to our stories and encouraging us along the way!

I don't visit the General Discussion often since my husband passed away in April 2010 but I'd love to exchange email with you if or when you have the time. Here's my email...backyard@oppcatv.com

Thanks again for the stories. I'll be checking the Porch along for more.

Regards,
Ru
http://photobucket.com/albums/i76/willru602/
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
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Re: Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby Robin » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:10 am

Always a pleasure to see your name, Ru!
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Re: Strangers in a Grocery Aisle

Postby paddler » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:47 am

im new to this forum. just hearing you say you cared for someone for 10 years... we are on 13. and we still cant get our primary neurologist to agree it is PSP. He says if it were PSP he would not live this long. it is a source of frustration.
thank you!
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