Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unexpected Moments

I had to break down and go to the grocery store today.  Before leaving I peruse my Taste of Home magazine for dinner recipes.  I find this asian inspired dish that called for sesame oil and I know that I used the last of mine weeks ago. 

I find myself in the baking aisle, my back turned to all the chocolately goodness just 3 feet away.  I'm sure I have chocolate in my pantry so I must not look. 

Ah-ha!  Oil...canola, vegetable, safflower, corn, olive, light olive, garlic infused olive, virgin, extra virgin.  Great!  Now I'm singing a Madonna song in my head that I haven't purposely listened to since junior high.

Another woman is apparently in the same oil dilemma as I am since she's been standing near me, looking perplexed.  I see her in my peripheral vision and wonder if she's looking at me. 

Sesame oil...grab it but continue to look for another sesame oil in case I can save a little money.  No such luck.  I turn to leave the aisle but the woman is immediately to my right and absently blocking my escape.

I'm about to excuse my way past her but she is staring wide-eyed at me and is crying.   I stop and ask her if everything is alright.  Tears are falling faster and she quietly says, "You look like my sister...just like her.  She died three years ago.  I can't believe how much you look like her."

Speechless for a moment, I tell her I'm so sorry. 

She told me her sister was in surgery for a very simple procedure.  She was allergic to the medicine/anesthesia and had a heart attack.  She was 35.

I see this look of hope in her eye as she asks me my name.  I get this feeling she's hoping I'll say her sister's name.

"Ginger."  She looks down and I can see the sadness overwhelm her again.  I tell her my sister also passed away at age 35.  I gave her a hug and I can tell she's thankful and maybe had her last bit of closure and a hug goodbye to her sister since she didn't get that chance three years ago.

Moments like these are ours for the taking.  I could have brushed by this woman because I needed to get home 20 minutes ago.  I wonder how many times I have hurried through life, not seeing what was right in front of me.