Saturday, October 2, 2010

Have You Hugged A Stranger Today?

I made an elderly lady cry today. 


I really did.

Right in the thrift shop parking lot. 

In my defense, I wasn't trying to make her cry and I wasn't mean.  I simply told her how lovely I thought she looked. 

Perhaps I should back up a bit and start from the beginning ...

Fridays are my new special day.  Not just because it is the end of the week and the weekend is so close on the horizon, but also because of my favorite show. I won't go fangirl crazy here ... it's not the point.  The point is ... it is Friday and it is special and I was ... am ... feeling incredibly good today for many reasons.

The weather is fantastic!  One of those fall days where the morning is crisp, the day is warm & breezy, the evening cool under a clear, stary sky. 

Then there was the fact that I woke with a happy, happy pupper ... and we enjoyed a morning filled with playing inside and out before I had to say the dreaded four letter word ... *whispers W.O.R.K.* ... and head out to the office.

Work, though, was actually pleasant.  There was chaos but that is normal when you have almost 100 elderly people all in one place.  However the day moved right along and, after an extremely arduous long week ... the early close of the office, if only an hour, was a blessing.

So it was, that I hit the road with a light heart and a bright sky.  My sweet red Baby had her sunroof open and a new CD mix in the stereo streaming the music.  Laughing and singing, I knew that my two necessary stops would not take long and I would soon be home to my little Ball of Fluff to begin preparations for our Awesome Friday Night. 

Stop 1 was quickly finished and Baby & I took off for Stop 2, feeling pretty chipper. 

In front of the little thrift shop, I pulled Baby into a parking spot next to a luxury SUV.  I think it was a Lexus but, honestly? ... I don't really care and it doesn't truly matter.  As I turned off the engine, preparing to get out and go in the store, an elderly lady came out of the door and made her way to the SUV.  She was very striking ... quietly elegant in a fitted, solid black pantsuit with white satiny lapels and black heels. 

She looked lovely.  So, I got out of my car, leaned against the roof, and told her so. 

I may have expected alot of things, but I didn not expect for her eyes to well up with tears, even as she gave me a tremulous smile and thanked me.  She then told me that she had purchased the suit at the first of the year for her husband's funeral.  She was wearing it again today because her best friend's husband had passed away and his funeral had been this afternoon. 


There was nothing I could say and I couldn't help myself.  I went around the car and gave her a brief hug. 

She sniffed and thanked me.

We wished each other a nice weekend and then she drove away and I made my way into the store. 

That private moment between two strangers struck me as I made my purchases and headed Baby towards home and our little Fluffernut. 

In today's world, we work so very hard teaching our children "Stranger Danger", that we forget to teach them about simple human kindness.  It hurts my heart that they must be more in tune to caution than they are in reaching out to someone who seems sad, or lonely, or in need.  Wouldn't it be lovely if our children could be taught understanding as well as caution ... respect for others as well as defensive tactics ... care for the people they pass in the street, not just the people around the dinner table? 

That, every once in awhile, blessings are shared on both sides when you hug a stranger?