By LindaRNnLA • August 6, 2015
On Mother's Day of 2012, I was getting my nails done early. My grown children were planning to be at the house later in the afternoon. I was thinking of how far I had come from a Mother's Day long ago and feeling grateful. Fifteen years earlier, life was moving very fast. I was a single mom with two children, a demanding job and a long commute. This meant, that the time to shop for groceries, wash clothes, and plan for the next week, had to happen on the weekends. As usual, I shopped on Sunday for the groceries for our week ahead. I was standing in line, writing my check, (pre-debit cards!), when I commented to the cashier that the store seemed really quiet today. It may seem impossible to believe, but her reply hit me like she had swung a baseball bat, "it's always quiet on Mother's Day, you must be the only mother out there shopping. Everyone is at brunch". I know she was simply stating what she saw to be an undeniable truth. I truly believe, that she did not meant to be hurtful. Needless to say, it was all I could do to finish paying and get to my car. I sobbed and sobbed. I hadn't even realized it was Mothers Day. My children were two young to know. It felt like a tsunami of awareness. How alone I really was.
Now flash forward to 2012. My nails are done and I am brimming with the excitement at being able to see my children soon. I decided to treat myself to an ice tea and walked to the sandwich shop next door. The place was empty except for a mom and her son ahead of me. Maybe because I had just been thinking of that sad mothers day long ago. I am not sure. But I knew that this was a single mom, celebrating Mother's Day with her son in a sandwich shop. When she was through ordering, I handed the cashier a $20 bill and said, " This is my treat. Happy Mother's Day". The cashier was disoriented for a moment and the woman searched my face to see if she knew me. I just said, "Really. Happy Mothers Day." I had heard Wayne Dyer speak once about the power of kindness. He said that studies showed that not only do the giver and receiver of an act of kindness benefit, but an observer of an act of kindness benefits in exactly the same way. The mom and her son felt good because she had been honored and had received an unexpected gift. I felt good because I felt I had honored that part of me that wasn't honored all those years ago. But I didn't expect the shift in the cashier and the other staff. Everyone was beaming.
Note to self: I need to do this again.
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