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...changed my life.
It was a couple of days before Christmas and I was shopping at the Vancouver Costco. I couldn't help but notice how "un-Christmas" the atmosphere was...parents yelling at their kids to hurry up and don't touch this or that...or worse, some kids were just being ignored and crying for attention. Civilized adults being rude to each other...and I remember thinking how pitiful it all was. I was in the store looking for a Wii - somebody told me they might be available there. I asked a clerk who very nicely told me I was out of luck - see I only had a vague idea of what a Wii is and no idea of how popular they were - making them scarce. Another Costco "customer" heard me ask and after the cleck left he approached me and offered to sell me one - for $500. After talking to this "gentleman" - it turns out he somehow managed to buy 10 or so units (not sure if they were from Costco or not) and was just hanging out at Costco to find people looking for these games so he could sell them one. He actually said things like "you'd better do this because I am your only hope" and "your kids will hate you if they don't have a Wii on Christmas morning." I suddenly felt really sad because I know for some people he was telling the truth.
On my way out I decided to get a Costco hotdog special. That's when I got the Christmas Spirit again. I was just looking around at all the people hustling, bustling, ignoring, yelling, pushing, shoving and then I saw her and her little boy. At first, I didn't take it all in - all I noticed was this woman's happy smile. And then I noticed her son was handicapped. He couldn't sit up by himself very well. He couldn't eat by himself and when he had food in his mouth, it would come back out. But at first glance you wouldn't know it. This Mom was using one hand to hold him up. She was breaking his food into small bits and feeding it to him and wiping his mouth every few seconds. She did this while she was eating her own lunch, whispering conversation to him and gently kissing his head now and then - and smiling both full of happiness and pride the whole time. I found that amazing especially in contrast with what was surrounding them. They were most definitely in their own peaceful and loving world. I watched them for a few minutes and reluctantly went on my way. Her love and peace had touched me, but I knew if I stayed longer and watched, they may have spotted me watching them and it could have made them uncomfortable or somehow taken away from their time there.
Now it's just over 2 months later and this is still on my mind - as it is everyday. I am more thankful for my kids and I am more at peace and more accepting of things when they don't work out the way I want. I try hard to be more gentle and kind towards others. I want to smile the way I saw this woman smile. I want that peace and contentment. I want to be able to love unconditionally. I have heard that before - but it doesn't really have meaning until you see it.
It's a 100 million to one chance that the person who I am talking about sees this, but I need to say thank you. I want you to know that you made a difference in my life.