You've all played it. The check-out lane game at the store. You think the lane you're in is the slowest ever. So you switch to another. Well, I usually lose at that game, so today in Costco I decided to stick it out. I held my bouquet of persimmon-colored roses and watched customer after customer check out in the lane next to me. The old man ahead of me had concerns about the price of what he was buying. Then he had trouble writing out his check. What was beautiful was the patience and kindness of the checker. It made me not mind the wait.
Anyway, the reason I write all this is because I am glad I got delayed. It made the timing perfect to run into a certain Costco employee as she was finishing her break. She commented on the beautiful color of the roses I was holding and we started to chat. I gave her my first flower, and she sent me to give the next one to a worker at the customer service counter. This woman (I'll call her Jen) was so touched by her co-worker's kindness that she even teared up. She really needed to know someone cared about her today. When I took the third rose to Jen's mother, I saw where she inherited her leaky eyes.
Jen's mother is a hair dresser at an assisted living center. When I first entered the salon, I just stood back and watched as Jen's mother shaved an elderly woman's chin with a straight razor. At first I smiled, thinking I should get in line. But then my heart was warmed as I watched how tenderly she worked, and how she kept reassuring the woman who obviously didn't like the lotion on her face. When she finished I got her attention and explained the reason for my visit. Gratefully, with tears in her eyes, she accepted the rose and note from her daughter. Then she promptly sent me back to Costco to take my next rose to none other than Jen. I couldn't refuse.
And so the chain went on today, interrupted just a couple times when someone wasn't home.
One more part of my day.... I don't usually tell people about my cancer. But sometimes when they just can't figure out why I am out delivering flowers to strangers, I tell them about my situation and how this is something I do to keep my mind off myself. Well, today I met a grandpa who used to have colon cancer. We've both had surgery, so we both belong to the semi-colon club. But what I want to say about this man is how his home felt. It was a peaceful place. More than just quiet. It was peaceful. He showed me pictures of his family and shared a couple experiences with me, things I needed to hear. Things I'll probably just put in my journal instead of here.
It was a good day.