Thursday, July 21, 2011
beautiful short story - from end to beginning?
Yesterday my daughter and I were were looking for something to do together. Considered several options and eventually decided to go poke around the Salvation Army. Probably not something most teenage daughters would want to do with their mom - but every now and then we do it - and that's what we settled on yesterday. And - by the time we were done, (hmm...is it ok to begin with the "end of the story"??) my pocketbook was much heavier than it would have been if we'd done a fraction of that much shopping at the mall - and my heart was lighter for reasons totally unrelated to shopping but that wouldn't have happened unless we had been there & done that together.
I'll be the first to admit it's hit or miss at the Salvation Army - but yesterday we hit the jackpot. Seriously. We got some really nice stuff. Including two pairs of American Eagle jeans for about $7 for both (not each) pairs! If I ended the story here it would be a beautiful one, don't you think?! :) But there's more. The deeper beauty in that score is that my daughter can hardly ever find jeans to fit right. We've trekked who knows how far up and down escalators, in elevators, around malls and thru' department stores trying to find jeans to fit her - and shelled out big bucks to pay for them when we did. Anyhow - she didn't even try these ones on. I figure at their prices I'd rather risk purchasing and washing them first ;) Anyhow both pairs fit perfectly! She loooooves them :) Plus, to the tune of a grand total of about $55, she got several really cute tops as well - & I got some too....even one brand new gap shirt that I love love love (happy dance :) And wait! There's still more .... Digging even deeper I find something pretty special as I reflect on yesterday's shopping excursion. That being that my teenage daughter - who really does have a terrific sense of style that's all her own - is more concerned with the look she's after than name brand labels and has no problem shopping at the Salvation Army. In fact ... she enjoys it.
And now for the rest of the story...
While we were there, I saw a woman (a stranger) I had crossed paths with a few weeks earlier in the drugstore. I'll describe her with just a few adjectives: Unkempt/disheveled. Toothless. Wrinkled. Animated. Loud. Hurt (in the past - I just could tell) and hurting (inside). And, quite possibly, mentally ill. In a misunderstanding of sorts, I ended up laughing and she ended up yelling at me .... in front of other people! I didn't intend to hurt her feelings but I knew I did and I felt really bad about it after she went on her way. I had seen her once before & I wondered if I'd ever see her again. Well - low and behold - I did. Yesterday. At the Salvation Army of all places. While I was shopping there because I wanted to, she was likely shopping there because she had to. And - I dug deep (insert deep breath here) and mustered up the courage to apologize to her. Wasn't sure if she'd even remember me but soon enough I could tell that indeed she did. And she remembered the "event" (which is kinda what it turned into) that I was referring to as well. Anyhow - long story short - after that I could still describe her with all the same adjectives I used for that purpose earlier - but even so .... she seemed different: Kind. Sweet (very!). Tender (not nearly has hardened as I had assumed). Christian (without a doubt - and certainly among the most Christ-like people I've ever met). Forgiving (without hesitation). In a few short minutes she told me quite a story - though I couldn't understand a lot of it - just enough to know that it was a sad one. But, by the time we parted ways again she was smiling! We both were :) The biggest difference of all tho' was that even tho' we never exchanged names (oh how I wish we had!) she was no longer a stranger. In fact, she reminded me of my mother at certain times - tho' I could have said that about her earlier too. I'm thankful that this short story has a happy ending - but --well -- I don't really want it to end. I'm hoping/praying our paths cross again sometime/somewhere - wher'ere the two shall meet. That I'll be given another chance (wish I'd capitalized a bit more on the second chance I was given yesterday!) to use MyStory of HIStory --- to make her story more beautiful. Somehow.