Sunday, January 30

The Old Man at Wal Mart

Today is an exceptional day.

It is nearly 60 degrees in sunny Colorado. I’ve opened up the curtains and windows in our giant, 3-story house, (which I have all to myself today-aaahhh) overlooking the mountains. I’m cooking in the beautiful, open-spaced kitchen, drinking a vanilla chai. And sounds of John Mayer and Lady Antebellum are decorating my walls. Seriously, does it get any better?

Anyone that knows me, knows I can be pretty dramatic. Er, sometimes, overly dramatic. And I contribute this to my very right-brained, creative personality. Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed; consumed; intoxicated with love stories and people falling in love, and really, anything having to do with the topic of love. In fact, I read the People version of Reese Witherspoon’s new romance eight times yesterday and, cried when I saw a co-worker try on her wedding gown! Not to mention my iTunes will probably be sending me a notice that Train’s “Marry Me” has been detrimentally overplayed. I’ll contribute this to a very wonderful, certain new change in my life.

I was walking through Wal Mart (which I usually loathe) when I noticed an older gentleman pondering the Valentine’s Day cards. Generally, I don’t prefer this holiday. I think waiting for one day a year to shower your significant other with flowers and chocolate and love, seems silly. Shouldn’t we be making an attempt at this all year long? However, like I mentioned before, I am taking a very strange inner shift lately and, this holiday is possibly, maybe, kind of starting to soften me.

This man was probably in his 70’s, maybe older. Had a basket, not a cart, with two apples and a loaf of bread. Obviously, a woman sent him for a few items she forgot on Wednesday. He picked up a card, studied it with great intention, considered what her face would look like when she read it, and then decided it still didn’t say all he wanted to say. He tucked the card back in its rightful place and began the search again.

You can make any assumptions about who he was and where the card was going and why he was taking so long but, that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

My heart immediately sank in my chest with an ache and gratefulness for love like that. Here was this old man-he forgives me for calling him that-who has probably been married for over 50 years, still picking out a Valentine’s Day card; still trying to find the right words to tell her how much he adores her, loves her, and is thankful for her being in his life. Oh, aren’t you just dying right now?!

And don’t you think that I didn’t stand there just staring and lingering and soaking it in.

Isn’t this actually what we all desire? To have people in our lives who will be there until the very end? Don’t we all actually just want to be surrounded by love and laughter all the days of our lives?

There is a great quote in the movie Juno that goes something like…

“In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

Well said, Mac MacGuff.

Isn’t that all we want? After the bad stuff life hands us, and the tears we know we will cry, don’t we long for that one person, or that best friend, or that family that walks up beside us, helps us stand back up, wipes away all the tears, and holds us until we’re smiling again?

And someone who will spend minutes and hours picking out the perfect Valentine’s Day card?

What can I say, I’m softening for this holiday. :-)


  1. I love this one, it is great!! ------Mom

  2. Thanks, Mommy. It's one of my favorites too.