While my mom was visiting, we decided to go out to breakfast one morning and headed to The Shack (we love that place!) Well, other people love that place too because the line was out the door. So we changed plans and continued to drive further into Niantic. We successfully found a restaurant open for breakfast near the Book Barn. The hostess seated us at a small table since it was just the two of us. We were surrounded by other people at other small tables. A woman was sitting next to us eating by herself and she struck up a conversation.
This happens to me all the time. Random people pour their hearts out, sometimes before I’ve had enough coffee to be at my best. And funny enough, it happens to my mom all the time too. So of course it happened when we were together! This woman began sharing her story. She works second shift as a music therapist and decided to take herself out to breakfast before going to a bank. Her mother died three weeks ago and she was going through her mother’s house and sorting out papers, going to various banks to figure out next steps. We listened sympathetically, and my mom offered advice when appropriate (she lost her mother in 2013 and father in 2016 and was the primary caregiver for both parents.) It also happened that this woman was a church musician in her career and she offered some of her own wisdom to me when the inevitable question came up about why I’m in Connecticut while my roots and some family members remain in Ohio.
As she left, we wished each other well. We encouraged her to be gentle with herself and to not rush decisions as she grieves. I had another cup of coffee and contemplated what had just happened. You see, we weren’t supposed to be at this restaurant. Our plans didn’t come to fruition because of other folks having the same idea of breakfast at a popular place on a rainy Friday morning. And because our breakfast location changed, we met this grieving woman—seated next to us, eating alone and needing people to talk to.
Was this simply a coincidence?
Was this a God moment?
People will have different interpretations.
Though it’s once again a reminder that we truly never know what anyone else is going through. And it’s best to just be kind, even before your coffee kicks in.
(This Week’s Thoughts 8.29.19)