Last Thursday, after learning our cruise to Hawaii had been cancelled because of the chaos of the corona virus, (which sadly would have made me cry in any other situation) we decided to hit Costco. Our priorities had been suddenly switched around and we found ourselves with a list of items we might need instead of suntan lotion.
Driving up, the parking lot was jammed like it was the day before Thanksgiving. We drove up and down, looking for a space. Finally we spotted a very pregnant woman unloading her purchases in a small car close to the front. We pulled close to wait, turning our blinkers on to signal our claim. Now we could see she had two overflowing carts with everything from cases of diapers to cases of cheerios. We patiently waited as she methodically packed her car from top to bottom and side to side. There was no way she could see out her back windows. She looked up long enough to catch our eye in approval as she rolled her cart to a safe place. Then she hobbled back to her car, carefully buckled in, and pulled out. As she passed us she did something I'll always remember. She waved in appreciation.
We could have been impatient. She could have been flustered. Life these days is bringing on evident stress to people we've never met. But in that moment it seemed each of us had empathy, despite the unrest of the world. I will always remember her quick wave of gratitude and will thoughtfully add this same gesture to my new beginnings as I face these crazy times.