Unsuspected Connections

Yesterday, checking out at the grocery store, the grocery clerk commented on the cupcakes I bought. I said the cupcakes were for my son’s classroom for his birthday.

The grocery clerk asked how old my son was. I replied that he was my baby, and it was hard to believe he was already 16 years old. I shared that he has Down syndrome and his Life Skills class really enjoys birthday celebrations. She nodded her head silently and continued to check my items without another word. Ugh, I thought, I overshared.

After that pregnant pause she said her baby was 35. She went on to say her son was recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia. But he didn’t believe he had Schizophrenia; that everything happening to him was real. He was in the hospital, so at least they could be sure he took his meds, but when he got out, she’d be the one to ensure that.

Wow, you just never know what people are going through. Here I thought I shared too much with the grocery clerk; but rather unknowingly created a vulnerable space for her to share what was heavy on her mind. Though it was heavy, in a way we were both lifted by that encounter with one another.

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