Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Unexpected

The most unexpected things can happen sometimes.  

This was the case for me today.  Who knew that I would be brought to tears in the meat department of the grocery store today?

There we were...three of my kids and me, working our way through Aisle 7 on a quick trip for dinner ingredients.  I looked up and saw an elderly couple standing by the lunchmeat cooler.  I noticed them because they had noticed us.  They were smiling and looking at the children sweetly.  I smiled back as if to thank them for their non-verbal approval of my grocery store helpers.  As we walked toward the end of the aisle, and hence closer to them, I could tell that he wanted to speak to me.  I walked over to him, and he immediately remarked on what beautiful children I have.  I thanked him, and then he looked me in the eyes and told me that they were the most precious gift I would ever receive.  He pleadingly told me to love them, to take care of them, to be kind to them.  He told me to never take them for granted.  He was so intense, that I wondered if he had lost a child at some point in his life.

Sure enough, after I sincerely expressed appreciation for his words of wisdom, he shared with me that he and his wife only had one child, and that he died of leukemia when he was "28 years and 11 days old".  He told me that it was 32 years ago, and that not a day goes by when he doesn't think of him; that he just misses him so much.  He told me that he hopes my kids will bury me when I'm old, instead of the other way around.

I welled up with tears (though I tried to hold it back while we were talking).  This gentleman had stopped me in the middle of the grocery store and shared with me precious words of advice and wisdom, which clearly stemmed from a broken heart.  I couldn't help but wonder about the thoughts that go through his mind when he sees a person like me, who seems to be living in the prime of family life, having young, healthy, vibrant kids.  

Oh!  How much I take for granted!

I wondered if one day I will look back on these days and wish I had them back.  I know that time ticks on, and things change, and it's possible that the unthinkable could happen.  That is why I relish the chaos which seems to engulf me at times!

That man was a blessing to me today.  Tonight, I found myself speaking to my little ones a little softer.  I tried to discipline with a more loving, less angry hand.  

God is so good.  I thank Him for providentially placing people in my path to remind me of so many things of which I need to be reminded - even in the most unexpected places.


Deidra said...

Oh Amy thank you for sharing this!! Something I definitely need reminded of daily!

Mom said...

Thanks for posting this Amy! How I wish all parents could be reminded of what treasures they have in their children. It reminded me to also never take for granted the 3 beautiful children that I have and that they will be be here forever! I pray God, in His grace, will spare me that pain! I love you my dear daughter!!