There's a guy (let's call him Joe) who works at my favorite grocery store
in Chapel Hill.
Joe is identical to my brother Andrew;
they talk the same and share similar mannerisms.
They even have the same nose and hairline.
Every time I see him at the store
I have this urge to hug him and tell him about my life,
my children, the run I went on, or the weather--
things that Andrew would find interesting.
Last November, as I was shopping for Thanksgiving food, Joe came up to
me as I walked a cart of groceries filled to the brim around the store,
and he asked me sarcastically
if there was anything he could help me find that wasn't in my cart.
Later, as I was unloading the groceries into my car, he came to help me.
He picked up bags and placed them in the back of my car, then stopped,
looked me in the eyes, and blurted out:
"I don't want to be rude, but do you mind if
I ask you, what happened to you?"
He didn't seem nervous or embarrassed to ask; he genuinely wanted to know,
and I didn't mind telling him, especially
since I felt like I was talking to Andrew.
I was grateful he did because I'm always happy to share my story,
including the miracles and God's plan of happiness for him and me!
Last Monday, per usual, I was back at the store shopping for the week and
I ran into Joe near the wine aisle, and we talked
about his hidden musical talent, his teenage daughter,
and why I didn't drink wine when I was in the wine aisle
(because it's right across from the cheese!).
After checking and unloading the groceries in my car
I sat in the parking lot and cried a little.
Lately, I have been thinking about my brother Matt and have been telling
the Nies' funny stories about me and my brother Jesse in high school.
I may be far away from my people in the West, but I still feel close
to them, especially on Mondays when I'm grocery shopping with Andrew.