In my life I have known both rags and riches. I am thankful for both as they have made me who I am today.
In my early twenties and thirties finances were very tight and there were always too many days between paychecks.
I have known both single parenthood and dual parenthood - where I was the only one contributing to the welfare of both myself and child and later, with a competent, responsible partner.
In later and recent years, finances improved. Savings accounts became a reality. Modest, yearly vacations became doable. Extras, once only dreamed of, became within reach.
This leads me to today's post.
Yesterday I was in my favorite market doing my holiday shopping. Mind you, I was not shopping for tonight's dinner or staples for the kitchen cupboard. I was shopping for holiday extras. Cheeses, breads, ingredients for special hors' doerves. A little crab, even some caviar. Champagne.
When I finally arrived at the checkout counter and began to unload my delicacies I became aware of a middle aged woman and her son, about college age, waiting in line behind me. I couldn't help overhearing their conversation. The woman was crying (not loudly) and was saying to the young man, "I'm doing the best that I can, I'm sorry"... the young man with her was rubbing her shoulder and assuring her that "it was okay, mom.. it's going to be alright".. She was clearly trying to hide her anguish.. to no avail.
At one point, the woman walked away as the clerk continued to ring up my purchases. I couldn't help myself and asked the young man, "is that your mom?" He said, "yes". I then asked if they were having a hard time of things during this holiday season. He responded by shrugging his shoulders and said, "yeah, a little bit".
My heart broke. I looked down at their cart. Oatmeal. Pasta. Rice. Bread. Milk. Not a specialty item in sight. I looked at my purchases...
My question for you, my readers... What would you have done if you were me?