Everybody has a story…I was taught that growing up. Everyone wants to tell their story is what I often forget.
After leaving a children’s program this morning at our local library with my two kids, I needed to quickly run into the grocery store for some milk and a few other items. I have been going to this grocery store for the last four years, and being a mom-it feels like I am ALWAYS at the grocery store! I recognize almost everyone who works there and could probably tell you what department of the store they each work in.
It was time to check out, and at the end of the checkout counter was an older slightly grey haired woman who was bagging my groceries. This woman has bagged my groceries numerous times. She always ties my bags in little slip knots so nothing falls out. Her blue eyes are hidden behind her coke-bottle glasses and her wrinkled smile is always a constant.
It was cold this morning and she insisted on following me out to my car with a separate cart, I really didn’t need help, because I only bought a few things but I agreed.
As we walked to my car with kids in one cart and groceries in another we made small chit chat. This chatter of course led to talking of the weather which in turn led to where she was from. “Michigan,” she said. “Oh, I used to go to Northern Michigan every summer growing up as a kid,” I replied. There was no quick reply…..
“I grew up in a home for kids with my other 6 siblings, outside Lansing, Michigan,” she uttered. I slowed my walk down and looked at her….she was crying. Tears were bubbled up in her eyes. She then apologized and said she hadn’t thought of her childhood in a long time. I stopped my cart, I could tell she just wanted to talk. I was then told about her mother and father. Her father died of cancer when she was young and her mother was deemed “unfit” to raise her children. She then spoke of how thankful she was to grow up in that home for kids. It provided her a safe place to live and in the end she was able to get college paid for. I couldn’t help it but to just hug her. With cars driving by and my son probably wondering what the heck was going on, I stood there hugging her. She wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled, she wasn’t upset but happy to talk and share. We talked about God’s never ending love and the way He blesses us when we are often not aware.
As I drove home I could smell her perfume on my shirt and I was reminded in that moment of that phrase I heard growing up as a kid “everyone has a story.” Often it’s so easy to get caught up in the “hurriedness” of life and not slow down enough to listen.
You see everyone has a story and they would like someone to tell it to…be that someone.