Saturday, February 13, 2010
Overheard at Barnes & Noble
I was in the Valentine Card aisle at Barnes & Noble yesterday and dropped in on this conversation.
Woman 1: She needs to just forget him."
Woman 2: Yes, she does. I don't know, I never felt about anyone enough to get hurt or miss them. Except my husband.
Woman 1: Oh yeah.
Woman 2: You know, when my husband knew something was wrong, or I wasn't feeling right, he would sit me down and ask me what was wrong and wouldn't leave until he knew I was alright.
Woman 1: Yeah, you are not going to find that again, for sure!
Woman 2: No, no, no.
I never looked up to see the women, I didn't want them to know I was listening, even though they were about a foot away. They didn't sound "old" to me, really. I was on my lunch hour and came into the store really frustrated about something at work so it was kind of an escape to listen in.
Woman 1: So did you have your husband cremated?
Woman 2: Oh, yes. I did. And you?
Woman 1: Oh we had a full out military funeral, the whole thing. But we had him cremated, his ashes were right there.
At this point they wandered further from the cards and then I watched them separate and go their own ways. They must have just run into each other at the store, who knows how they knew each other. I watched one of the women walk away, she was wearing a bright red top. I don't know why it touched me but I was almost in tears, right there in Barnes and Noble. I had to start looking at the Electrical Wiring for Dummies book for a few minutes to gain some composure!
I guess I was thinking how we talk about how quickly our children grow up. My niece who once fit in my arms is driving and starting to look at colleges. My youngest niece sends me email. My uncle died in January, the first death of that generation on both sides of my family. But I don't think about my marriage and how one day we will also be old. And one day it might be me in that card aisle running into an acquaintance.
This is what I learned from two gracious African-American women at Barnes & Noble yesterday. Treasure every minute of the love you have. Even when you're picking dirty underwear off the floor or wiping crumbs off the counter for the zillionth time.
Happy Valentines Day weekend.