I received an email with this story about a woman who lost her husband. It inspired me. I decided to add my spin to it. I hope you enjoy my version.
Harriett pushed her empty grocery cart down the aisle. She had gone through half the store trying to make a decision as to what to buy. There was a time she enjoyed food shopping, but now it was just a chore. She stopped in front of the cereal shelf. “I guess there’s no reason for me not to get my favorite cereal with nuts and raisins.” For fifty years she purchased rice puffs because Harvey liked it. In the year since he’s been gone, it’s been the little things that she missed most. A tear escaped her eye and rolled down her cheek at the thought of him. Her daughter wanted her to move in with her. She didn’t want to leave her home or sacrifice her independence. To be honest, she was afraid of giving up on living. One day she will see Harvey again and she has one question for him, “What was your rush? Couldn’t you just wait a little longer for me to go with you?”
She’s not certain how she got there, but she found herself standing in front of the meat section. Harvey was such a meat and potatoes kind of guy. It was so easy to please him in the kitchen. Harriett got lost in the memory of the first time she cooked him a meal. She bought a nice piece of steak. She wasn’t sure how to cook it, but was on the phone with her mother every step of the way. She baked a potato and boiled some carrots. Time stood still from the moment he picked up the fork and placed a piece of steak in his mouth. He savored the flavors and chewed slowly. He looked up at his young wife and said, “That is one of the finest steaks I’ve ever had. You can stay another week.” He winked and it made her smile. Throughout their married life whenever he enjoyed a meal he told her the same thing. For 53 years he’d say that to her, and every time it made her smile. What she wouldn’t give to hear him say it just once more.
She picked up a package of steak. It seemed like it was so much for just one person. She noticed a young mother with two small children by her side and a third one sitting in the cart. She held in her hands a package of steak. She started to put it down and then picked it up again. Harriett couldn’t help but notice her dilemma.
“What seems to be the trouble dear?”
Startled the woman looked sheepishly at Harriett not knowing what to think. “Well you see, my husband loved steak, but it seems like such a luxury. He’s had a rough week and I wanted to do something nice for him.”
Harriet asked, “I would love to purchase that package of steak for your family.”
The woman answered, “What a generous offer, but it’s really not necessary.”
“My husband died a year ago. He loved steaks. It would be my way of knowing that someone was enjoying steak for him.”
“Well that settles it. I will get them after all, but I can afford it. Thank you though for your kind offer.” When the young woman walked away, she took a second look at the older woman. The young woman got inspired by a still small voice. She knew it must be God talking to her.
Harriett asked the Lord how she would be able to live life alone. She missed Harvey so much that she thought her heart would explode. How will she carry on without him? With tears in her eyes she noticed the young mother coming towards her smiling. She tried to compose herself.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I was so moved by your kindness to me that when I went to pay for my items, I had extra money hidden in my pocket. It was the right price for these yellow roses. I would like you to have them.”
Harriett couldn’t hold back her emotions any longer. “Young lady you have no idea what you have done for me. My husband would buy me yellow roses all the time whenever he saw them. He told me that no matter how beautiful I thought they were, they paled in comparison to me. He was a big mush.”
The woman smiled. “My name is Lauren and I would be honored if you would join us for dinner.”
Harriett was beside herself. “Why that would be lovely. But only if I can bring over the dessert.”
Lauren handed her a card with the address. “See you at six.”
Harriett thanked the Lord in heart. She knew He had His hand in this. She looked at the flowers in her hands and peace started to fill her. She heard the Father say, “You are never alone.”
© Nadine Z. 2007
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