“I took the twins to Walmart today for our weekly grocery shopping. An older woman approached me in the cereal aisle, and I instantly sighed in annoyance because I knew the typical ‘twin questions’ were about to start pouring out of her mouth. When I go out in public, I always plan for an additional 20 minutes just for answering questions about twins, and frankly, it’s become tedious.
She neared my cart and stopped. ‘Here we go again,’ I thought. She asked all the typical things, told me how sweet they were, and continued to babble on with the boys. I was antsy, and just ready to go. I turned to look down the aisle, hoping she would take the hint I was ready to leave, and as I did she put her hand on top of mine that was resting on the cart. ‘I know you probably hate this and I’m sorry to take up so much of your time. You see, I lost my only grandchild last year, and about the only time I see kids his age is when I do my grocery shopping,’ she said.
Suddenly, time didn’t matter. ‘Well, we are about to go look at the fish, you wanna follow us over there and watch them play for a bit?’ Her eyes lit up. ‘I would love that.’ We went over and I got the boys out. She spent about 15 minutes watching them bounce around and scream out ‘FISHY FISHY FISHY’ when finally she looked over to me and said, ‘You don’t know what I would give to be able to hear my grandson laugh one last time.’ I couldn’t find any words, so I stood in silence, grieving for her.
‘May I hug your boys?’ I nodded. ‘Thank you so much for giving me your time, I know your hands are full,’ she said. ‘No really, it was my pleasure.’ She bent down to hug Darrio, my not as friendly twin, and he reached his arms out and said, ‘LUH YOU!!’ She hugged Dheigo and then hugged me, and said, ‘I love all 3 of you, too’ and headed toward the check out.
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Do you know what my point is? My point is how quickly my attitude changed once I connected with her as another human being with feelings.
The woman taking too long in the drop off line in the morning? What if her child has to go to his dad’s for the weekend and she won’t get another hug for 3 long days?
The man driving slow when you’re in a rush to work? What if he’s going slow because he knows he is going to be laid off and is worried about his future?
The annoying little kid down the road who always bangs on your door? What if he doesn’t get attention at home and just wants a friend?
It made me wonder; how much nicer would we all be if we knew one another’s struggles?
Raise good humans.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Landra January.
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