Dan and I ventured out into the craziness of holiday traffic this morning, heading to Best Buy to pick up his computer from the repair shop and to take a quick peek at Christmas sales. We don’t do Christmas gifts per say since we lost our moms, but focus more on quality time with each other, our little family traditions, and celebrating with friends. It’s still fun to see what’s out there, though.
On our way home we stopped off at Whole Foods (or ‘Whole Paycheck’ as we call it) to pick up a few things. As we walked across the parking lot toward the store, an older African-American woman was coming toward us, dressed so beautifully in her Sunday best. Dan and I make a habit of finding something nice to say to people we see when we’re out, and we both told the woman how pretty she looked.
The woman’s face changed from surprise to joy in an instant. She told us how much that meant to her, that she “received” our gift and it meant so much, as her husband had recently passed away. Dan squeezed her hand and continued walking to the sidewalk. The woman took my hand and said, “You really don’t know how much that meant and how much I needed to hear that today. I just thank you so much.” She began crying and folded me into a big embrace. My heart cracked at the sad beauty of it all.
Saying something kind to someone costs absolutely nothing. Sometimes the comment may fall on deaf ears, but sometimes your words may be the medicine that someone’s soul needs desperately. I know what it feels like to hear a kind word from a stranger out of the blue, and I will be on a mission to continue repaying that kindness this holiday season and beyond. The gift of meeting that sweet woman will be in my heart this Christmas, for sure.