I was thinking about my tire as I walked into Costco the other day. My daughter and I had recently gone on one of our “let’s drive and get lost” excursions where we hop on a country road to see where it takes us. It’s a fun activity if you live in the country like we do and are still learning about the surrounding area.
Yesterday we learned that you can drive along the Shenandoah River when traveling south from West Virginia to Virginia. We also learned that when you get a large nail in your tire it will sound like a flat at first, but the sound will eventually go away as the nail is driven further and further into the tire.
So I was on my way into the Costco Tire Center to get my tire looked at, when an older and a middle-aged woman were walking out together. The older woman beamed brightly at me and said hello. I said hello back and continued into the store as it slowly dawned on me there was something familiar about this older woman.
I turned around and easily caught up with them as they were standing in the entrance. The older woman was still looking at me and smiled as I got closer. Like an old friend, I put my hands out to grab hers and I said “I just wanted to say hello and tell you how lovely you look today.” This sweet woman with her innocent face and twinkly eyes said “Ohhh! I love you so much!” Then she wrapped her arms around me and didn’t let go.
We stood there like that, hugging and saying I love you over and over, while her daughter, who looked to be the same age as me, and I carried out a quick conversation over her mother’s head. How many years? Since 2003. Do you have support? Some. She’s beautiful. Thank you. Such a joy! Yes, we’re fortunate. I briefly told her about my mom who is so similar. The daughter seemed embarrassed and frazzled as she apologized for her mom who was in my arms like a child with her head against my chest, loving on me. I said, “please don’t apologize — it’s okay, I love her too; she’s beautiful.”
I found love at Costco. We didn’t know each other, but we were like magnets, pulled close together by an invisible force, both knowing we weren’t strangers at all.
We reluctantly said our good-byes, and then I proceeded to sit down outside the tire center and bawl like a baby. I cried for my mom and this sweet woman who are both so lost, yet profoundly present at the same time. But mostly, I cried because when I cry, I know it’s the deepest part of me letting go of my mother. And when the tears come, I know it’s time to let go just a little bit more.
Even if I’m at Costco.