Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful for Others

Early this morning I went to the market to purchase a turkey and prepare it for dinner. I had never done such before, being the youngest of 12, where both men and women are pretty amazing cooks there was nothing strange about this. My contribution has always been drinks and desserts.

This year my friend and I were having a quiet dinner and we would pop over to our families for dessert. I had watched my mom for years, as I cut up the many vegetables that went into the dressing: celery, onions, red, yellow and green peppers.

Just as I entered the store I noticed a senior. There was something about her and I wanted to make her acquaintance. I hung close without being obvious, thinking of how I might strike up a conversation. She had a few things in her shopping cart.

"Hi, Happy Thanksgiving. I'm sure you have made many turkeys in your day."
"Yes, Lord."
"This is my first. I wonder if you might be able to help."
"Sure. Now, let's see. What have you got in there?"
"Not much."
"That's just fine. You'll be needing...."
"Thank you."
"Don't forget to get the cooking bag and be careful not to throw away the ties."
"Ties?"
"Yes, the bags come in twos and the ties are in the instruction part." (I remembered.)
"OK. Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving."
"Happy Thanksgiving, baby."

I went down just about every aisle, so as not to forget anything. As I had followed her initially, it appeared that she was now following me, for in every aisle she seemed to appear.

"How's it going?"
"It's going pretty good."
"What kind of turkey did you get?"
"Butterball." (That's what my mother always bought.)
"Honeysuckle's on sale for half the price. Come dear, let me show you."
"Thanks."

As I rolled my cart beside hers, we talked about her dinner and who would be coming over. She was having quite a crowd, but complained that her family did not appreciate that she had just gotten out of the hospital. She thought that they didn't seem to care that she was not feeling altogether well yet. I listened, reaching out and touching her hand.

"You look great."
"Thank you, dear."

When we got to the check out, I asked if she would allow me to pay for her groceries; it would be my pleasure. She resolutely refused, saying that the only thing that she hoped for was that I would remember her during dinner. I assured her that I would. "I will be with you in spirit," she said. I loved her.

Saying our goodbyes, I gave her the biggest hug and kiss on the cheek. I watched as she headed toward the automatic doors. Her stride took on a quicker pace and her head was held a bit higher. My heart filled with love. I am thankful for her.

4 comments:

John O'Leary said...

Great story, Judith.

judith ellis said...

Thanks, John. I hope you and yours had a great day of thanksgiving.

Catvibe said...

What a sweet story! And very well painted, I was in the grocery store right there with you two.

judith ellis said...

Everyday I look for such encounters. I listen for them.