As I sat today in my office (Starbucks), regrouping at an early hour after being discounted and discarded again, I suddenly had a moment. You know those times when you see something that you know will stay with you long after seemingly more important thoughts have escaped your mind?
She sat quietly, her sleeping son comfortably and obliviously sprawled, and she read. Occasionally she would raise her head to greet a friend, or to approve of happenings closeby, always greeting each with a smile. To see them made me feel uncomfortable at first, knowing it rude to stare. But as I sat at a distance and stole the occasional glance, their level of comfort and contentment seemed to permeate the room.
Questions came to me steadily...how does she get him to sleep, in a house of caffeine and bustle, at such an early hour? For that matter, how does she manage a public place with a three year old, and still seem so happy??!! Ultimately, I felt emotionally pulled into this scene.
And so, I interrupted.
I apologized, and introduced myself, and tried to explain why I was intruding on her perfect scene...trying desperately to alleviate any fears she might have about my intentions. And as if to perfect the entire experience, she understood. She asked what I did, and as soon as I shared with her my daily responsibilities outside of being the creepy guy in the coffee shop, she said something that will stay with me for a long time.
"Mother and child heals all."
She fully understood. She understood the picture she was sitting in, she understood her role in it, and amazingly, she understood why it would affect someone who saw.
My extended family has had a tough time recently. The toughest of times. Emotionally draining, crushing doubts about life and faith. I, for one, am in a place far worse than ever in terms of my own beliefs. And yet, in the midst of it all, sat this woman and her child. And I know she had no idea, but she gave me some peace, right then.
I asked her permission to share her scene with you, the reader, and she allowed me to take her picture. I never asked her name, but if she reads this, I hope she understands how the simplicity of happiness and comfort, a postcard scene of mother and child, helped me even just a little.
And as I thanked her, she smiled again, and said, "God Bless You".
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