Who Moved My Groove?

Touched By An Angel

Posted on: November 4, 2009

I am crying.

Not sobbing. Just sitting on my couch with my laptop while big, fat tears flow down my cheeks. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.

Why tears? Not tears of joy. Not tears of sadness. Leaky emotions, I think.

As I sit here, I’m thinking about the unexpected kindness of a stranger. I don’t know her name, and she’ll never know how much her gentle words of encouragement touched my heart.

It has been a frustrating few days. I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up messes of epic proportions (see previous post for details), wrangling a shrieking toddler, separating two boys who share the same DNA but refuse to share with each other, and trying to enact positive changes in my own life. It’s the last item that makes me feel like my skin has been sheared off, and I’ve been dipped in vinegar. I’m trying so hard to find a little piece of life I can call my own. I turn left. DEAD END. I turn right. DEAD END. My wise friend says there is always a third way, so I try to go up and out of this impossible box. DENIED.

It feels like I’m being pulled in a million directions for hours and hours and hours and hours. Cook, clean, care give, lather, rinse, repeat. There is no end in sight and no help to be had.

Which brings me to Toys “R” Us. After a treasure hunt worthy of Indiana Jones (hey, Toys “R” Us, might want to work on that customer service thing), I finally had my item in hand, and the baby and I were waiting in line. Baby has Houdini-esque skills when it comes to any type of constricting contraption and had managed to wiggle free of the stroller/cart. Off came the shoes, up she went in my arms and then…she ATTEMPTED to RAPPELL from the top of my head to the tile floor using only my jacket strings for support.

The line was six people deep and moving slow. I was sweating trying to contain her. She was flopping around like a suffocating fish and executing, what can only be described as round-off back handsprings, using my collarbones as leverage.

It was then that I turned around, and saw “her” watching us. My angel.

She was tall, maybe 70 years old or so, with warm green eyes, rosy cheeks and the hint of a smile. She said, “It’s not easy is it?”

I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded.

She continued, “I had five children in six years. Three boys and two girls. It was hard work. I remember. I sure do. Everything is about them right now, but your time will come. You’ll look back at this time in a good way.”

I couldn’t even respond. I was speechless that someone who didn’t know me could be so… nice.  She “got” it. She used her life’s experiences to make me feel better at that moment. Instead of turning around and facing judgement and disgust there was motherly love. It was an unexpected gift.

Perhaps this is why I cry. Because today I looked back and saw the possibility of a way forward.

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10 Responses to "Touched By An Angel"

Thank goodness for women like this – her presence, her words – to make up for all of the people out there who seem to have forgotten that they too were children once.

My challenge is to give encounters like this as many bytes in my emotional memory as I do the negative ones.

Loved this. That doesn’t happen often enough…

I had a moment like that in Whole Foods a few weeks ago. It followed one of the rudest sneers I’ve ever received (and that’s saying something) from a female shopper. My kids were loud and raucous and having trouble deciding what kind of bagel to get. Sneer. I was trying to be patient. I turned my head and there was a woman. Probably also 70ish. Indian or maybe Pakistani. Beautiful. And with a lovely, rich voice and accent that made me want only to listen to her.
She told me of her three children. How they now are grown. She got right down on the level of my daughter and looked her in the eye (the way I should have been doing had I not been so flustered and mad by SNEER). She fawned at the baby. She smiled at my son. The bagels were selected. I thanked her. And we went on our way and had a good lunch. What a moment. I’m glad you got one, too.,

What is it with taking off the shoes and watching them and watching you run like a mad woman to get them.

The only toy shopping advice I have is online shopping which I think totally rocks except that all things look enticing.

Need a vacay??? Me too me too my friend, me too. Remember it’s on out project 40 or ummm 43 list.

Hugs Laura I hope today is a brighter day.

God bless that woman. It seems that these days, mothers are so often judged when out in public with their children. Which just makes us feel that much worse about ourselves. I teared up reading this because sometimes, just once in a while, you get what you need. You needed that empathy and I’m so glad she was there for you. Keep on moving forward. You’ll get there. It might not be on the time frame that you thought, but it will happen. Until then, do what I tell myself and just breathe…

I love this! I love love love it! Turn left. Turn right. Go up and out. All dead ends. Looking for a way out is so hard. Finding that way out is near impossible. I love this piece. I love your descriptions. I love the woman in line at Toys R Us. I have to think that little connections are given to us at just the right time every so often.

Oh… and I totally love the description of Houdini baby, rappelling from the top of your head by your jacket strings. Awesome!

Off to read more of your work… have we not met before?

This just makes my heart sing! I hope every mom receives such a heart-felt gift… It is needed!

Thank you for commenting. It was a bad day with a really bright spot. The light won out today.

Wow. That is profound. There are just days when we really, really need someone to tell us that it’s going to be OK. How wonderful she was willing to do that for you today

I love stories like this! I am glad you received some encouragement. It’s magical when you receive a message that you so desperately need to hear by being in the right place at the right time.

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