Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Chance Meeting

Coffee, with cream swirling, sits beside me on a petite, curvy legged French table. Words longing to be typed, and yet still hard to find are frothing forward onto this page. So very much has changed in the world, in my little corner of it, yet where does one begin? To skip forward to this day, and hope that by passing over the wintry months will mean that those days of difficulty are through - well, that isn't how it works. Is it?  One day soon, when the mood strikes, and my heart can take the dark wintry-ness, I will tell the tales ... of why I've not sat in this spot and poured my feelings all over these keys. For now, I'll go back in my mind and make this first journaling effort of months be conscientiously sweet and kind.

 I seek quiet, beauty and open space when it is time to be outdoors getting physical activity. I've mentioned here many times that I go to the hills near my home to walk. I may creep along trails beside a  stream, or parade uphill through posh neighborhood dwellings. When I get to town, it is beyond my control, there is a first stop of business and I peek inside the doors of a little re-sale shop.

Just past Christmas-time a visit was made to this shop, and a chance meeting was had - a sweet, life-altering (if only for a few minutes) moment between strangers. Quickly I eyed goods along the perimeter of the shop, while out in the center was a beautiful, young woman dressed all in black, with many garments in her arms. Speaking to the shop stewards, this lady was hoping to find opinions compatible to hers on which items she should, or should not buy. Giving a brief and personal history of what she was looking for - "I need something brightly colored and happy",  "I need a different out look", and I chimed in with... "maybe you're hoping to think out-of-the-box", Yes, indeed that was exactly what this beautiful stranger wanted. There were four women here on the floor of the store, each of us contributing our opinion. There, on the end of a garment rack was a skirt and jacket - THE ONE that our stranger wanted more than all of the insignificant, neutral colored items she was carrying. It had been spied, and while she was slightly shy about admitting it, mention was made that the item was a designer piece and thus had too high a price tag.

{not the actual jacket}

The three of us pleaded with her to go in the fitting room and try on the pieces, and each of us agreed that she would be spending her money wisely if she left the common neutral sweaters and instead got exactly what she was looking for. A fashion show was held, there in the little shop... the beautiful stranger smiled. The jacket fit her like a glove, and the vivid colors made her glow. Still, she stuck to her guns and said that at this time she could not let go of the cash this purchase would cost her.

Then, a more personal story slowly slipped from her lips, barely holding back tears, she removed the adorable knit cap from her head and shared her shining, and perfect, bald head. She was a cancer patient.  Still in the midst of treatment, yet she'd been told that very day that she was cancer free for now. She was surviving! Her reason for needing a good dose of color and something quite different from her norm.

With swiftness, as the jacket and skirt were removed in the fitting room, I spoke softly to the shop clerk and asked if her manager couldn't please reduced the price. "What a great idea", she sparkled! As I asked about the reduction, I also mentioned that if it were to be, then I would chip-in $25.00 towards the cost. Upon hearing me say this, then the clerk said she too would contribute. The third lady amongst us came forward and countered that she would like to do the same. But this woman was having hard times and said that she had a family member with cancer that she was trying to help. With sadness she opted out of helping here.


With all on-board, and our secret quietly kept, the store clerk presented our stranger with the news of the offer. If she was wanting of the suit and able to come up with the remaining amount, it would be hers, with our help.  At first, she said no, that she could not take such a gift. I replied that it was my   Christmas money, and I could do with it as I wished. A way of paying it forward. Each of us was      
teary and smiling, and joyful - each of those emotions all at once.  All of these raw, personal feelings
while standing in a resale shop with strangers, who had become instant friends.
Strange indeed! Perfect too!!        
Her name was Marie.  I envision her wearing her colorful gift and doing more than surviving... I see her living life very fully, and most definitely standing out -
                                                       OUT OF THE BOX!                                                                
{just as she had wished}


  1. such a beautiful story...I love when I have the chance to pay it forward and make someones day a happier one. Good for you!

  2. I'm finally getting caught-up on my Abundant Picnic! Shari, you never seize to amaze me about the person you are, beautiful inside and out, and how much your writing just hits my heart!!! I can't believe I've been away from your abundant life for so long. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!!!