Lately, I've been thinking about Fall. Maybe because I hope that by the time the yellow and red leaves are on the path in front of my store, in the park, crunching under peoples feet and flying through the air, this will be over. Maybe things will be slightly back to normal.
I've also been reminiscing about my favorite memories of people coming into my store and interactions we've had. It's such a special thing, and one that I don't take for granted, to have a complete stranger walk into my space and then share something with me, a story about themselves or even a smile or a laugh.
Sometimes it's more intimate than we could have ever expected. The following is a story that happened on a fall day in The Shop a couple years ago. I wrote it down right after it happened, but never shared.
If you are so inclined, grab your tissues and have a read. I cried just now as I read it again. Not only because it's a touching story, but because as we enter into what should be my busy season where I can start connecting and re-connecting again in my happy place, I cannot. The door still remains closed. And I am truly missing the people.
Town is busy and an older couple just left my store. They were lovely and happy. On vacation from Alabama. Enjoying the beauty of this place, and the art in my store. They bought a hat and a t-shirt and we had lovely conversation.
As they walked towards the door the man got a phone call. He stopped to take the call, told his wife who was it about. Then all of sudden he stopped. Said too loudly, "What?! WHAT?!" pause "Is he DEAD?" Then his wife clutching his arm, "No, he's not dead. He's not dead" Then she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said "His dog, his sweet Collie"
Then he said, " No, I don't need that, I'll call you back".
She said, "we'll go right home, Oh Jack, We'll go right home now."
He hung up the phone and let out a cry/ gasp and they both rushed out to the street and away.
Even as I am left sobbing inside, swallowing this lump, greeting the never-ending stream of customers (who. keep. coming. in.) I am struck by the beauty of this moment. The sadness is because of the love. It's only sad because there was such love there. Deep true love. The man, the dog, the wife. So much love.
Then I notice another man, in the park across the street. Joyfully trying to catch leaves as they fall. Like a boy. And life goes on. Thank you to that man.
And to the couple who are now figuring out their plans, feeling so many feelings, shedding tears, I'm sorry for your deep loss. And thank you for filling my heart to the brim today. It's not much, but I'm really feeling for you and sending love and comfort your way.
And to that sweet dog, rest peacefully dear soul, you were loved.
Ps. We are now offering pet portraits by Barbara Shelley through The Shop, click here for more info.