I met a woman. She was selling old things and moving to Florida. To be by the beach with her love she said. She was older than I, but young at heart – I could tell. Her blonde cool cut hair framed her beautiful face that must’ve been worn down by sorrows of life. I told her, “I love the beach too and what a wonderful place to be moving to.”
She then proceeds to tell me her story, her husband deceased years ago. Her new significant other also a widower. Her deceased husband always wanted to live near the ocean so she got a place there and scattered his ashes. That’s when she met her new love. Someone who had walked through the same pain. Someone that she could comfort, someone who’s sorrow she knew well. They could be understood by each other.
I stood there, cash in hand. Sweating from finding the place and searching for my mask. No longer embarrassed by my clothes dirty from my day of errands and cooking – deeply moved by this story. This story of love twice over. Love in and through and after pain. Love so deep you move to honor your once beloveds dream story. And you complete it. And then fate, so gracious in her giving, gives you another portion of love to enjoy the end of your days with. Salt water gracing your toes. How beautiful. How hard. How lovely.
Where I thought I was just buying a painting she didn’t want any more, I found instead something much more worth looking at. I had walked into someone else’s journey and witnessed the beauty from ashes she laid in my hands. I was happy to be a soul that she could tell her story too, so that it would carry.
I told her I was so sorry about her loss. So happy for her dream coming true. How touching and beautiful her path was. That I hoped everything would go well for her. And that, among many dreams…I would love to live by the beach some day too. She said, “it comforts my soul and brings me peace, the sea.”
I replied “It does the same for me But it seems unsurmountable with kids and life so rooted to take big leaps like that.”
She told me you just make one step after the other for a dream. She kindly and boldly continued to say, “and do it before you are too old. You’ll wish you would’ve done it a long time ago.”
Isn’t it so like dreams? Don’t wait to pursue them. Don’t wait till the death of them. They deserve to be given a voice. A fighting chance. That dream, that soul wish buried in your heart that even a stranger can see…it’s there. Whether you let it loose or not. Whether you take steps toward it or not. Any choice, is a choice. Shall we throw off what hinders us and look to the hope-filled unlit streets of the unknown? Shall we do the next best thing toward our dream, whatever it may be? I think maybe so.
I left saying, “I will look at this picture of this yellow tree, and I will remember you, Suzie.” I remembered her name and felt I needed to say it because, I don’t usually remember names. “I will look at it and remember that you are by the water with your soul and your story. Go and be blessed, and enjoy the love you have found.”
She messaged me as I drove away, you are kind and have a beautiful smile, I wish you a blessed life.
We parted, with more joy than when we started.