I was in Sprouts Monday getting all the produce in the world for $7.26. It’s the best shopping experience on the planet; I highly recommend it. I mean, you can get a grocery cart FULL of fruits and veggies for next to nothing. Boo-ya!
Anyway, I’m checking out and my cashier has absolutely no hair. I’m not being judge-y. I’m just noting that clearly there seemed to be some physical hardship she recently experienced that caused her hair loss.
But she had the sunniest eyes and she was chatting away about Thanksgiving. Was I ready? Were we having anyone over??
I told her it would be a pretty quiet one for us this year but that I was actually looking forward to it. She said it would be a quiet one for her too. Her disabled, non-verbal brother unexpectedly passed away last month and he loved the holidays. He lived with their mother who’s taken his passing really hard. Now…in the wake of that loss…her mother doesn’t feel up to celebrating the holidays.
But they’re doing Thanksgiving dinner anyway. And setting up a Christmas tree at her mom’s house while they’re at it. Her brother would have wanted them to continue all of the traditions; he would be disappointed if they didn’t. He loved, loved, loved everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the turkey is too much, so they’re having pot-roast.
My inadequate, “I’m sorry for your loss,” is lost in her enthusiasm as she shows me the word “Christmas Tree” using her brother’s sign for it. She holds her left arm out horizontally, then rests the elbow of her right arm on top, so that her right hand is pointing to the sky. Then she joyfully wiggles the fingers of that hand to represent the lights. It conveys “Christmas Tree” perfectly.
All I can think at this point is: I am completely going to start crying here in the checkout line. All I originally came in here for were those new Halo clementines on sale for $1.98. But what I GOT? Was a whole lot more: An example of courage and hope in the wake of true physical and emotional devastation. Perspective on what’s important. And a reminder to be thankful for the blessings in my life, because they may just be on loan and not mine to keep forever.
While I had to pay for the fruit, that whole other angel-in-disguise bit was free; no charge. I TOLD you it was the best shopping experience on the planet. Go to Sprouts now. And look for that cashier. Ask her to show you her brother’s sign for Happy Thanksgiving.
And if you can’t do that on such short notice, then I’ll tell you. I think he’d want you to know. He loved the holidays, after all.
You grab your wattle you know you have one, and please don’t bring the group down with comments on how surprised you are because it got so big allofasudden, and make appropriate gobbling movements with your mouth, which might have to include your tongue. Have a big smile on your face, like you’re lovin’ every minute of it.
See? It conveys “Happy Thanksgiving” perfectly.