Monday morning chores… Walmart.  Sigh.  My cart is jammed packed full, as I patiently stand in line waiting to check out.  I start to make lists in my head of all the things left to do.  Schedule dentist appointments, update budgets for volunteer organizations and return phone calls long forgotten.  I am quickly brought back to the present as the line shuffles forward.

As I turn to push my cart, I notice the man behind me.  Poor guy, only 6 things in his cart and he’s stuck behind me.  I just can’t stand the injustice, so I offer to let him move in front of me.   “Please, go in front of me”, I say.  “Really? You don’t mind?” It is through this gentle interaction that Spirit has started to work.

As the line progresses forward I start to perceive all those things that everyone is capable of seeing, but so few actually  choose to. 

I notice that my new Walmart friend has a traveling companion.  It appears as if he has brought a huge German Shepherd dog with him and this very loving and very loyal pet is standing right next to his leg.

 

Our conversation is focusing on all the reasons my cart is so full; the fact that I feed a bunch of teenagers, a lot of cereal seems to make him laugh. As we continue to chat, our conversation begins to shift, ever so gently, from happy to sad. 

 Our light hearted conversation has now become  deeply personal, as he begins to open up  and share how he just had to put down his dog. I am honored to hear about how this beautiful pet found it’s home with him, how for many years it remained a loyal companion and how even up until the moment it was laid to rest it provided friendship and love to this man.

I venture a little and share an expression of compassion – “I understand that even after our pets cross over they never really leave us.” I quietly say.  “And that if you just sit quietly I bet you will be able to imagine him standing next to you.”   Mr. Walmart smiles, whips out his wallet and shares a photo.  It is a picture of him and this beautiful German shepherd standing right next to him.  I give my condolences once last time, “I’m sorry for your loss, but it looks like you had a wonderful relationship.”   The time has passed quickly, and it is now my turn to unload all my items on the check out counter.   “Thank you for your kind words” he says, “and yes, I often think he is still riding in my truck with me.”  As I begin to unload my cart I think to myself, “Yes, I have no doubt he will be able to feel his beloved companion once again.”

photo credit: jacilluch via photopin cc