Stopping in the Middle of the Aisle

The grocery store was packed.  I, with my big cart, found it hard to get around the other shoppers who seemed to come from every direction.  It was chaotic.  Folks passing each other and then stopping suddenly in the middle of the aisle so they could make the life changing decisions such as which variety of instant grits to buy.

(I so wanted to help them and just point them away from those things.  They are not worth the time they save, for real. Invest in good taste and buy the real things, please.)

I really wanted to get in and get out, so I found myself getting a little frustrated.  I knew exactly what we needed to get, and I had hoped to get home in time to put the groceries away, get a few things done around the house, and maybe even sneak in a nap before I had to be at my next commitment.

But it was taking so long.  Because of all the people.

Then I saw her.  First on one aisle, and then on the next one, where she was waiting patiently on another shopper.

She was a Mama shopping with her daughter who looked to be about the same age as our Princess, maybe 10 or 11.  Only her daughter was in a special kind of stroller.  This Mama was pushing her child and pulling her cart behind them.

And she was smiling.

She never stopped.

And it was a smile that reached all the way to her eyes.

She apologized for having stopped in the aisle and offered to let me go around.

I declined and told her I was fine–I had plenty of time.

And that was the truth.

I had nothing to complain about.

Instead I had a lot of thanks to offer. For a cart full of groceries that we could afford.  For healthy children who will eat the food I had put in the cart.  For a roof over our heads and a kitchen to prepare the food in.  For the ability to push the cart and wander through the store and a car to get all the food home in.

I could go on. And I probably should.

After seeing that sweet Mama, whose light was not diminished by her situation, I was ashamed that I had felt one moment of impatience or frustration.  Some days I can really be self-absorbed, and when I see it, I don’t like it one bit.

Today I’m thankful for the Mama who, because of her smile and her spirit, made what had to be hard look easy.  May we all take on the situations ahead of us, no matter how hard, cloaked in the same–with a light in our eyes, a spring in our step, and a thankful heart.

Love to all.

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