Awhile back I was grocery shopping when I saw a woman who lives nearby.
Our paths had crossed several times but we didn’t really know each other however I decided to go over and say hello.
Which I did.
Her response was nothing more than eye contact, a blank stare, and her going out of her way to back up her shopping cart and drive it around me.
What the heck?
I had gone out of my way to talk with her and she totally snubbed me!
And from that day on I put her on the ick list.
…months later I found out that the day I so enthusiastically greeted her at the grocery store was the day after she found out horrific news that would change her life forever.
Needless to say she was wiped off my ick list and replaced by myself. To think I spent all that time thinking about how I felt and how I had gone out of my way and blah blah blah and had never stopped to think about her.
I swore that if I saw her again I would go out of my way to talk to her.
And that day came.
But I didn’t talk to her.
You see it was one morning when I was at the gas station getting a soda. It was a morning when I had less than 5 hours of sleep, I was behind on a deadline, had sick kids, and was talking on the phone to my brother about my mom who was in the hospital.
Suddenly there was someone behind me, tapping me on the shoulder and telling me hello.
It was her.
And all I could do in my sad, tired, worried, state was wave and walk over to the cashier to pay for my drink.
I didn’t even realize what had happened until hours later.
So now all I can do is hope that our paths cross again and that she had more compassion for me than I had for her.
I think sometimes we need to give each other a little more slack…we don’t know what burdens others are carrying…and everything isn’t always about us.
I learned this the hard way and am hoping that I won’t have to keep relearning it…especially now that I have been on both sides of the coin.