the grocery store

        Yesterday, I went to the grocery store. I was out of sorts and in a hurry. “Ma’am, do you want your meat in a separate bag?”  “It doesn’t matter. Whatever you think."  “Well, I like to bag it separately. I had a daughter who got sick from a germ carried in raw meat.”  “Really?"  “Yes. She was staying with my husband for two weeks. When I picked her up, she was so sick that I took her straight to the hospital. She died the next day.”

        Her eyes were clear. There wasn’t a trace of bitterness or self-pity.  “I’m so sorry. How long ago did you lose her?”  “She would be twenty-two now. I’m hoping that I can get July 4th weekend off. I always try to go home that weekend to put flowers on her grave. She died on July 5th. Here, I’ll show you a picture.”

        By now, she had finished bagging my groceries. She scrolled through her photos. The line got longer. Hurried people waited. Time stood still. We were together, she and I--woman to woman, mother to mother, heartache to heartache.

“We are travelers, and we are weary and homesick.” Margaret Guenther

“And God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” Revelations 21:4