Have you ever experienced those moments you knew you’d remember with vivid clarity?
Maybe it’s your wedding day. Your children’s births. A family celebration or a special holiday.
Maybe, though, it’s more specific than that.
Maybe it’s that sixty-second encounter, a fleeting impression, or a few fractured seconds in your twenty-four hour day.
Perhaps, it’s that one thing—the thing that suspends your attention—and heightens awareness in a surreal sort of way.
We’re not sure why that snapshot embeds itself within our mind, but somehow, the moment changes us. It alters reality and shifts our awareness. We know, regardless how many years pass, that snapshot is with us forever.
It may even grow into a story.
Now, as a writer, I’m drawn to stories. Sometimes, the story is a simple imprint—a poignant nugget to savor and digest another day.
Sometimes, the story’s a “mirror moment,” or something that triggers a specific impression.
Take this, for instance.
Recently, I selected a box of breadsticks from the freezer case of our local market. Nothing noteworthy about that, other than the fact there’d been a price increase since I’d last purchased them.
Oh, well. What was fifty cents more?
I chose the off-brand, tossed the box in my shopping cart, and meandered on my way.
Two kids giggled and smiled as I maneuvered past them. As I rounded the corner to head down the next aisle, I heard them rattle off some frozen food requests.
“Mama, can we have these?”
The other sibling added his two cents. “Yeah! I want those, too! But I want my own box.”
“Can’t you boys share? You’re brothers. Brothers share.”
Mom studied her sons, satisfied she’d made her point. The boys regarded each other with mischievous grins and some additional back-and-forth banter.
They agreed to share.
And just like that, another time and place drew me.
Our daughter was around three-years-old then. Her soon-to-be cousin, about eight.
Small for her age with an infectious personality, *Erin had arrived in the states by way of a medical visa. (This was before her parents started the lengthy adoption process.) Because Erin would have to return to her home country following surgery, it would be almost a year before the girls would see each other again.
How would we stand it?
How would our family part with this precious child when it came time?
We wouldn’t let our minds go there. That day at the family owned theme park was to be a day filled with laughter and fun. A day of memory-making.
I leaned into my shopping cart as the years fell away…
When we grew hungry after a few hours, we decided the pizza buffet was the perfect choice. Lots of variety, tons of food, and a brief respite from the hot, crowded day.
As our daughter climbed into her booster seat, she paused and pointed at Erin. “But she has a bwweadstick and I don’t.”
Uh-oh. Not a good thing.
“The food bar was out earlier,” her daddy explained. “But I’m sure they’ll make more.”
Our daughter’s face fell. “I want a bwweadstick now.”
And then an amazing thing happened. (Amazing because Erin only spoke in a Chinese dialect at that time.)
She grasped her breadstick with both hands and broke it in two, one piece noticeably longer than the other. Which do you think she handed her future cousin?
The longer piece.
“Thank you for sha-wing.”
Erin smiled and nodded. She answered with something neither of our families understood, but her cousin did.
Two little girls.
A language barrier.
Uniquely wired, and yet, one thing remained.
Love is universal.
If two complete opposites could share breadsticks and smiles, surely, there was still good in this world.
I snapped back to the present and continued my shopping to the distant giggles of kids on aisle four.
Revisiting hope never sounded so good.
*Name has been changed
SHARING IS CARING
The moments that change us and shift our reality. Why revisiting this never sounded so good.
Stories are all around us. The one that reminded me there’s still good in this world.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS YOU MAY ENJOY
*Erin grows up!
Mix-ups and merriment. Life goes on.
What has hope taught you?
What ways do you pay it forward?
If you missed my recent recap Why Brand Matters, you can catch up on the ACFW blog.
On Tuesday, September 19th, I’ll share some thoughts on time management over at the WordServe Water Cooler. Please stop by and say hi.
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Here’s to a hope-filled season ahead! *clink*