Saturday, November 9, 2013

GRATITUDE POST, November 9, 2013

I was shopping at Costco with my Mom yesterday when we came upon two women pushing carts loaded with three beautiful children. My mom has always been unabashedly drawn to children, and since the onset of her dementia, she can't resist the urge to oogle, coo, and even reach and touch any cherubic toddler who shoots a smile her way, and so, when a precocious little five-year-old offered a cheerful "hi" to her, we were immediately engaged.

"Did you have a Happy Halloween?" I asked the boy.

 In a bold voice lacking any apology and without parental prompting, he replied, "We don't believe in Halloween."

"I see." I pull my foot from my mouth. "Are you excited about Thanksgiving?"

 "Yes," he replied, which was followed by his younger brother's rebuttalled "no."

The two women smiled at us and at the boys, of whom they had a right to be extremely proud. In a moment we were chatting like old friends, and the older of the two young women showed off her beautiful baby girl nestled in a carrier in her cart. We learned a bit about that family in a few moments. The women were sisters. The older of the two was the mother of the three children, while the younger aunt was there to lend a hand. Their accents told us they were born elsewhere, but their kindness made us feel like immediate friends.

Half an hour later, as Mom and I were searching our change purses for change to buy some water bottles the young aunt saw us and quickly offered two quarters to end the need to excavate the bottom of our purses in search of long lost coins. When she walked away my mother looked at me and smiled saying, "Most people are really wonderful, aren't they?"

"Yes, Mom. They are."

We forget that sometimes, or maybe we just get too busy to engage strangers very often, but most people really are wonderful. Most of them are kind, and generous, and many need an offered smile as much as we do. I wish we had had more time to chat. I felt I missed an opportunity to make two new friendships. I hope I take advantage of the next opportunity.

So my gratitude item today is that I'm grateful for good people, those I've already chanced to meet, and those I will yet encounter. For those whose kindness has rescued me in a moment of need, and for those whose passing smile has brightened my day when I may have needed a lift. We share more in common with most folks than our differences would lead us to believe. For that, I'm truly grateful.

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