Just When I Needed It…An Unexpected Encounter at the Grocery Store

It was a tough day.

A big presentation at work, a restless night’s sleep, an all-around anxiety-laden day due to some personal stuff going on.

I’m usually on board with the idea of “things happen for a reason”.  Truly, I am.

Admittedly, there are times where I look to the sky and think, “Really?!?  You’ve GOT to be freaking kidding me. What the hell is going on?”

But today?  I wholeheartedly agree.

I had an appointment mid-afternoon close to home and decided to make a quick grocery run afterwards.  I was kind of drifting through the store, not really paying attention to what I was doing, with a mind that was going a million different directions all at one time.  Then as I rounded a corner, I saw a familiar face of someone I had known since grade school but hadn’t seen in many years.  Thankfully I quickly snapped out of my daze to give her a hug and a smile.  We chatted for a few minutes, asked about things we had seen on each other’s Facebook pages, and then said goodbye.

I realized a few seconds later that I felt calmer just after the simple act of speaking to her.

In almost a serendipitous way, I exchanged smiles, a couple laughs, and a good hug in the middle of the grocery with someone I hadn’t seen in years but who I look up to greatly.  I think the big guy upstairs realized that I needed something to jolt me out of my haze and calm my nerves.

I was at a store I don’t normally shop at…at a time I’m usually still at least an hour away downtown at work.  And I just so happened to run into a woman I find incredibly inspirational who I haven’t seen or spoken to in-person since maybe college sometime?

You see, she has endured some of life’s biggest challenges in the past few years – losing her mother, losing a child to a horrible disease before his first birthday, an unexpected divorce.  She has seemingly managed to make her way through those troubled waters with a grace and strength not many people have.  She started a blog as an outlet for her emotions and to help others who may be going through tough times, and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with her through social media.

Nothing going on in my life is close to what she’s experienced.

But as odd as it may sound, I think the right-in-your-face reminder that people can overcome really crappy things and come out the other side stronger helped ease my worries this afternoon.

I have no idea if she’ll ever read this, but M, if you do – thank you for chatting today.

Running into her this afternoon wasn’t a coincidence.  I’m certain that it happened for a reason 🙂





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