I’ve had conversations with random strangers on the street, bus stop, in the bus, or even in restaurants. Something happens and someone just starts the conversation. It usually starts with the weather or how cute someone’s boots are. It’s normal like that.
The other night though, it was the sweetest words I have ever heard from a stranger.
Two nights ago, Nick was really sick. He was in the bathroom a million times, he had food coming out on both ends and it was not a pretty sight. It was the first time I ever saw him sick like this. Before I got home from work I already bought him Pepto Bismol and it didn’t seem to work. So he asked me to go to the store and get him some Sprite and saltines. Never heard about Sprite or any kind of soda to make someones stomach feel better but because Nick said that his mom made him drink pop under this circumstances and it worked, I couldn’t argue with him. (did some research and found that the carbonated water makes the stomach acids settle).
I went to the grocery store, picked up the pop and saltines then walked to the cashier to pay for my stuff. A lady was paying for her groceries when I got to the express line. I noticed that she probably just came from work with the clothes she was wearing and rode her bike home since she was wearing biking shoes, then just picked up some things before going home.
I placed the pop and saltines down, she took a quick glance at them and smiled. I smiled back then looked away because I wasn’t really in the mood to have a small conversation about how cold it was that night. And I was too worried about Nick to even stay an extra minute just to talk. She probably even saw my not so happy face.
But as she was putting her receipt in her wallet, she looked at the pop and saltines, then at me and said, “You know what? I look at these and just want to say, I hope you feel better.” It took my by surprise. I was surprised at her thoughtfulness and kindness. My attitude suddenly changed. I said,”Awwww thank you! that’s so sweet of you! It’s for my husband though. He’s really sick right now.” She replied and said,”Awwww I hope he feels better. I just know how he feels. I’ve gone through what he’s going through a million times, and it is horrible. I also always take pop and saltines when my stomach is not feeling well. Please give my love to your husband. I know you both don’t know me but please tell him, someone hopes that he feels better soon.”
I went home and told Nick about the lady at the store. He said that that was such a sweet thing for a stranger to say. I thought the same. He drank the pop, ate some saltines and was better in just 10 minutes. I know the stuff I got at the store made Nick feel better but the kind words of the lady made Nick feeling better extra special.
She made me think of how often I say kind words to another person. To my officemates, friends, husband or even the person sitting next to me on the bus. I may have done it a couple of times but I feel like I don’t do it often enough. Sometimes we don’t feel like it because we had a bad day. I look back now and remember the lady actually looked pretty tired, she was sweaty and seemed to be in a hurry too. I was even right about her riding her bike home since I saw her cycle away from the store when she left. I don’t think I get to say kind words to another person when I’m tired. But with that quick conversation that I had, I think we should always be ready with kind words. With just a few, it opens up something in us. There’s a feeling of relief in knowing that we are not alone through our struggles.
I’m going to do what she did to me. I could be tired, sweaty and in a hurry like she was, but I will try. You think you can do it too?