Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stories

Everyone has one.  That is what makes up history.  Just a collection of the everyday lives of everyday day people woven into the greatest tale to tell.  

But, and everybody has one, you need to know people's story before you decide who or what they are. 

Far more philosophical that the surgery SNAFU post I started writing earlier today.  

How did I arrive at this deep place?  By going to the grocery store.  I mean, really.  Where else do you go to reach such enlightenment??

My FF and the kids are at a family picnic  I needed to sleep and just be, since J has been home a whole day since I got out of the hospital, I think.  Sounds great.  I got to sleep for a bit.  And then the doorbell rang, as did my phone. I just got up.  And realized I was hungry.

I was going to grab something to eat, but I did not want fast food and eating out without my people did not sound enjoyable.  So I decided on nachos.  But I was not going to cook up four or five pounds of beef for me.  And that is how I shop for ground meat.  I have a teenage boy, a pre-teen boy and an Obabiya.  We need to buy food in larger quantities.  So, I ran to the store.  

I never shop on a Sunday afternoon, so that was weird.  And I rarely shop without a cart.  I was stopped by a lady when I was looking for a smaller package of beef.  I was looking for a half pound or so.  A lady, clearly tired and frazzled, stopped me and loudly exclaimed, "What I wouldn't give to be in your shoes!? Single and kid free!"  I looked at my left hand to see what her issue was, and remembered I only had my claddagh ring on. I lost my diamond sometime this morning. :(  I also realized that she couldn't see the stretch marks around my scars and I don't have a diaper bag.  I also suppose mommies don't typically wear moustached Mickey t-shirts with moustached Chucks.  

I was about to be snarky and make a comment.  But it popped into my head that I have NO clue where she is coming from.  What might have happened this morning. What work is like, or perhaps the lack of work is the issue.  The point of the matter was that I just didn't know.

So we chatted for a few moments, she works 2 jobs and cleans on the side. She has 2 boys under 6.  She is tired.  

I choose not to one up her with twice as many kids or surgery horror stories or the fact that I am also a single mom a third of the time, without the 3 days off a week, with every other weekend as a bonus.  She was clearly tired and worn out.  Instead, I bought her a small bouquet of flowers.  Grocery store flowers, but  when was the last time she got flowers just because.  I simply said thank you for sharing your story.  And went home to make my nachos for one...and remember that my ring was still naked.  <sigh>

The point of the story, is that everyone has their own.  And because they cross your path, even for a moment, they become part of your story.  I think we would look at the world so much differently if we reminded ourselves of that.  

Yesterday, I took lunch to a homeless man who often sits on the curb next to one of the grocery stores.  I do whenever I see him.  Except this time, I sat on the curb with him and chatted.  I have been interacting with him for two years now and have never asked him what his story was.  I learned his name.  That is from half the country away and that he lost his wife and kids tragically.  He had such a hard time sharing it, but he did.  And I felt honored.  And we watched the cars go by and the battalion chief leave for his house visits for the shift. 

He has a name and story.  As does everyone we come across.  Whether it is because they are rushing through the store or cutting you off in traffic, they have a store.  Maybe they smile at you because they are walking on cloud nine because there is a new diamond on their hand or they got into the college of their dreams.  They have a story.  We just need to slow down and learn them!

Hopefully my FF and muppets will be home soon.  I will indeed be asking them to share their tales of the night, it is part of their history. Slow down and learn the histories of those around you.  You might just be amazed at what you discover.   
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