A behind the scenes look.
I posted something on social media recently that tugged at a lot of hearts. You know me, I am big on us getting better at being in relationship with each other in every area of our lives. That means home, work, school, religious institutions, neighborhoods, with our families, friends and even strangers. In fact, this relationship story is about a stranger, a woman named Susan.
Here’s the behind the scenes setup. I know that I have to stop drinking coffee, because mostly for me, when it comes to coffee it’s about the cream and sugar. So, I am talking to myself this particular morning about not going to Starbucks, but I find myself in Starbucks anyway and I am not feeling guilty about it at all. Hey, it’s just one more day, one more cup. Why not?
It’s very early in the morning and I was behind a woman and there was one person ordering in front of us. The woman in front of me turns around to me.
Her: They make those pastries look so good.
Me: I know, I was just thinking that.
Her: I am thinking I am going to get something this morning.
Me: I’m trying to stay away, but you go for it. Why not? They look good.
Her: They sure do. It’s a trap.
She steps up to order. She pays and then steps to the side. When I step up to order, she says to the cashier, “Give her whatever she wants on me.”
Me: That’s very kind, but not necessary.
Her: I want to. Sure you don’t want that pastry?
We both laugh and step to the side. She starts to cry. I see her start to wipe away tears and I am completely caught off guard. I didn’t see it coming. I move closer and lean in to listen.
Her: Thank you for talking to me. I really needed that this morning. Sometimes I start a conversation and people won’t even talk back. I think I talk too much.
Right here, right now we connect in ways that she has no idea about. I was told from young that I am loud and talk too much. It was a message I received over and over again and it kept me from being my total self in public into early adulthood.
Me: What’s your name?
Me: I am Lynne and it is a pleasure to meet you Susan and I enjoyed talking with you.
She wipes her tears.
Susan: Me too. I have to go in to my classroom today and smile for my little ones and I just didn’t know how I was going to do that until you answered me. Thank you.
Tears well up in my eyes. I cannot believe what I am hearing. This small amount of conversation meant so much to her on this day and all I was doing was finally being myself and engaging in a conversation with someone who started talking to me.
Me: You look like you could use a hug Susan. May I?
Still wiping tears, she nods yes and we hug and really she falls into my arms and leans in and I hug her so sincerely. Our coffees arrive.
Me: I hope you have a beautiful day Susan and I hope more people answer you.
Susan: Thank you, I hope so too. You too.
I hope we see each other again. I have yet to see her again.
Whether I needed to have coffee or not, I was supposed to be there that day to do what I do best, be me. Susan said that I made her day, but she actually made mine. I thought, what is she going through and what might her day have been like without this interaction?
We need each other people. Kindness and caring go a long way.
It was just a few minutes out of my day and look what happened! I see you Susan. You matter.
I see you out there reading this and you too matter!