Just about to finish up with my grocery shopping at Meijer’s I came up behind a little elderly woman. She was dressed in a cheerful yellow outfit…yellow earrings too…she looked bright and perky. I went alongside her, smiled and said, “My goodness you look like a breath of fresh air.” She turned to me with a surprised smiling face and said, “Really? Nobody has ever said that to me before!”
She kept her gaze on me and said, “I can’t walk very fast.”
I paused and leaned in close to her, almost whispering I said, “And so what lady? It’s ok for you to walk slow, at least you are able to walk, just keep moving, you are doing alright!”
Well, as soon as I said those words to her she looked at me and said, with a smile on her face, “And so what…I like those words.”
The lovely lady in yellow moved slowly to the end of the aisle. I slowed down to pick up a few more items and I noticed she was waiting for me to meet up with her again. I stopped and looked at her, paused and said, “And so what…”
She said, “I like those words.”
She asked if I would talk more about those words. So I did.
I explained that sometimes we can’t do some of the things we used to do, and we feel bad or guilty, as if somehow we should be doing better and more. It is at those times we can be kind to ourselves and give ourselves permission to just say, “And so what…I will do what I can do, and be grateful.”
The little lady, so perky in her yellow outfit and yellow earrings, was silent for a short time and I paused and waited. She raised her head and looked at me and said, “Tomorrow I am having my third back surgery, and it is the last time they can do surgery on my back. I hope it helps me.”
Tears came to my eyes for her and I put my hand on her arm and said, “I hope it helps too. I promise to pray for you when I wake in the morning.”
She looked surprised and said, “You will? You are saying these things to me in the grocery store?!”
I smiled and said, “Yes, in the grocery store, because that is where we are!”
With that we started to turn away and she called out to me, “I like those words…and so what!”
I smiled and whispered, “Me too.”
Exciting things happen to me in the grocery store when I am not in a hurry. Our connection couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes long. I so wish I had asked her name, for me she will have a place inside of me and I will only know her as the “little lady dressed in yellow.”
“And so what…!”
Elaine Stoub is the mother of 4 wonderful kids….and 12 delightful grand children and a wife of 52 years. She finds happiness in watching her grandchildren develop their own unique lifestyle. She is passionate about inviting women to imagine more and inviting them to believe they can achieve more. She finds enjoyment being caught by surprise in connecting with people in the less then obvious places. bsp
Dear Elaine….. “So what?” You have offered me that wisdom and taught me how to ask those words of myself. That question has been life giving for me. You, my friend, are life giving to me and to so many others who you take time to stop along your way and encourage. Thank you friend. So excited to see you writing here with us at Red Tent. Your words need to be out there. They will birth good things.
Oh Elaine! I love you!! I could hear you speaking love to that little old woman in the yellow outfit and yellow earrings! You are genuine and truthful! I feel humbled and blessed to know you!
Beautiful, Elaine. Thank you.
This is perfect, and a gentle reminder that we are all in this together, each fighting our own battle. Encouragement and a smile can go a long way in this world of woe. Thanks for sharing this snippet today, and keep up the good work!
ELAINE!!! I’ve been waiting to find you here. So glad it was today, so glad it was this story. What a beautiful reminder of the connection we can feel when we pay attention and reach out.
Love this, Elaine! I can just hear your voice and I know you would say, “and so what.” This is so you on so many levels. Thank you for sharing so honestly.
I love that you shared this story, Elaine, and imagine the impact you had on each other. Grateful for your reminder too about what happens when you stop, even when busy, to tell someone, “I see you.”
I love this and love that your on here!