January 14

I ran up to the  Dollar General today to grab a few essentials (toilet paper).  While I was walking through the store there were two groups of people that grabbed my attention.  The first was a disabled man who looked to be in his 20’s and an older woman who was patiently allowing him to gather up any strength he could to help pick out items from the shelf.  As I made my rounds through the store they had only made it down one aisle.  Her patience inspired me to slow down a bit myself today.  The second couple was a man and woman who looked to be in their 60’s.  They were slowly making their way down the aisle each gently grabbing items off the shelf and putting them in the cart.  They were in front of me as I checked out the woman at the front of the cart waiting to run her card and the man at the back putting items on the line at a quicker pace than before.  The woman checking them out said, “Are you two together?”  The man grinned and said, “Yes.  For over forty happy years and we always do our grocery shopping together.”  His wife smiles-blushed a bit-and quickly ran her card.

I love human connection.  For whatever reason those two sweet memories from my morning shopping trip made me think of feelings that have come up as we’ve gone through belongings from our old home.  Photos and memories from Carter’s childhood in particular.  I’ve had to implement a new practice as I come across those memories.  When I begin to feel that pain in my chest I choose not to capture thoughts of loss or regret, but rather grab hold of gratitude for the days gone by.  I choose to take a deep breath and imagine my hear bursting with joy for the present moment and the times to come.  For whether he is a baby in my arms, toddler at my feet, boy lingering behind his dad or a grown man who I spend time with from time to time he will always be my son.

Today I returned form the store to a mini me version of myself.  Before heading to the store she told me, “Mom, you need to make some time for yourself….that’s so important.”  And later I heard her telling her sisters, “You can’t be treated like a little kid forever or you’ll never grow up and get to do all the things you want to do.”  I just got word from his dad that Carter got his very first rabbit.  Cannot wait for him to come home from Hart County to tell all of us the story of how he and Red “got it done”.  And Nathan and Tappaw’s stories are always interesting in comparison.