On a recent trip to the City, Hubby and I were shopping at one of the malls. We had gone to most of the obligatory sporting goods stores in the walk-about of the mall. As I often do, I detoured into another store. This time, I had a mission.
Yes, it is only August but I was after Christmas ornaments. Yes, they are Hallmark ones and yes, there are specific ones that I was going to purchase.
While we were perusing the display, an elderly couple came to the display. The lady was in a wheelchair with her oxygen on and the elderly man was pushing her. And while I was trying to decide which one to purchase for a family member, the couple was having a discussion. The lady was being very matter-of-fact about her ornament choices.
It was one of those encounters that you really aren't listening to the conversation but you hear it anyway.
Again, the lady was very matter-of-fact when she told her spouse, "Now you will have to continue these when I am gone."
That stopped me in my tracks. I glanced over and he was just nodding. She kept pointing out ornaments.
I didn't know these people from the man-in-the-moon. Maybe it was the matter-of-fact tone she had but the comment hit me like a ton of bricks. I paid for my ornaments with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. As we left, the couple was still at the ornament display.
I am hopeful that the recipients of her ornaments will realize how grateful they should be that their mother, grandmother, or auntie was thinking of them and was trying to keep a tradition going even after her time on earth ends. I am hopeful that her spouse is able to carry on the tradition.
Maybe it made me realize we all have a limited number of times to bestow the gifts, treasures and traditions to any of our loved ones. The more I thought about it, while I am not at the same place in the time line as that lady, I will be someday perhaps. I can only hope that I can be as at peace as she seemed to be.
Sometime it is the random comments that give us the most food for thought.