Friday, January 28, 2011

Starbucks

"Welcome to Starbucks, ma'am. What can we get started for you?"

I stared blankly at the menu. It's the little decisions that overwhelm. Seriously, the smallest of decisions.

"Um, a salted caramel mocha, please. Decaf."

"You bet, ma'am. Coming right up."

We exchanged a few common pleasantries.

And then I said, "Could I tell you something that will seem intensely vulnerable, and yet I just need to say it?"

His hands were still and he looked intently at me.

"Yes, ma'am. Of course."

"I'm a writer. I come here often to write. I sit in that corner booth; perhaps you've seen me?"

He smiled and nodded. "Oh, yes. Yes, ma'am."

"I lost my husband, quite suddenly, very tragically, a few days before Christmas. This seems to be the only place I can come on my own, your Starbucks. This one. I've written here before, and I'll write here again. In fact, I'm here to write today. I just wanted you to know. I can do that here. Thank you."

His face softened.

"You're welcome, ma'am. It's an honor to have you. And may we buy your drink today?"

Yes, please. My husband would love that.

18 comments:

my3boys said...

This friend loves that too. Praying for you right this very moment.

Dawn said...

so sweet, brought tears to my eyes...Love you Tricia. I read your posts daily (or however often you post) and want you to know that sometimes i cannot muster the words together to tell you how much your posts mean. you often leave me speechless. wanted to pass on this book, "tear soup." i've used it with my kid, teen, and adult clients. Its about loss and a granny making "tear soup." the premise of the book is despite how long ago the loss occurred you will often find yourself making tear soup, so don't be alarmed when all is going well and you stop to make a batch of tear soup. i pray for you and the boys daily.
much love!
dawn

Michele said...

I LOVE THIS! What an amazing story. I hope you have a peaceful morning of writing.

the4j's said...

Tricia ..
I only know you through my son Josh...but I read your posts daily...sometimes several times. To remind me that life is fragile...and I continue to pray for you and your boys.
Josh worked at Starbucks in high school...and that ONE is the only one I like to go to.
Prayimh the arms of Jesus encircle you...

Terry said...

i can just picture the joy in that young man's eyes as you accepted his kind jester...
it brought tears to my own eyes sweet tricia......with love terry

thewonderfulhappens said...

I love this story. And Starbucks is no place for small decisions :)

Tina said...

Each post you have written since your husband's passing has left me teary-eyed, and this one is no exception. Praying for you and your boys.

The Leivas said...

I'm glad you found your space at Starbucks and I'm praying that you'll discover more places.

Nettie said...

Awww...I am a crying girl, here. I love that story, and I love that God provided a place for you to write...
Kindnesses of any size speak volumes.

Brad said...

I burst into tears when I read his response. As you know, I'm in a very similar situation, just two months further in. I've known these instances and the kindness of people during such a time. I started sobbing as memories of similar encounters flooded my mind. Thank you, God, for people and the kindness of their hearts when we need it most.

Renea Flaishans said...

What a wonderful man!!

sarahkolden said...

Tricia, I don't know if you remember me. I used to go to Aspen Grove and watched your boys in the preschool room. I've been reading your posts, but this one touched me. Thank you.
Sarah Kolden

Alice said...

Each day I am drawn to read your words, hoping to see a little flicker of hope emerging. I continue to pray for you and your boys and hope you receive the same type of heartfelt kindness everyday that you received at your favorite writing place today.

Mrs. MK said...

I am so thankful for the kindesses you received today. Praise God for your openness, that is bringing glory to Him.

Krista said...

It's these small miracles on earth that help us get through the hard times in life. Although this exchange might seem very simple & trivial to some people, it reminds me of the humanity and goodness we can find in strangers. I'm so glad you were able to share a part of your soul today - I hope it has helped you in some small way! I read all your posts, but rarely ever comment since I'm always left so speechless. But today I finally want to thank you for your honesty and beauty. Since reading about your tragic loss, I've learned to appreciate every single day of my life. Thank you for opening my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me. I continue to pray for you and your darling boys every day.

Amy said...

This makes me cry too. I'm so thankful for this small yet hugely kind gesture. I'd love to buy your coffee too.

Laura said...

i love this girl and I love that you shared that with them.

karen said...

Tears streaming down my cheeks; thank you for the reminder of where I started and how the Lord has helped me in this journey of widowhood.
Panera is my safe place; the one in Montrose. About 5 weeks after Ted died, I decided to do the next thing. It was to difficult to be home, so I gathered books, thank you notes, my Bible and made myself go to Panera. I tried to get a tall table, by the window. Ordered my coffee and whatever, read the newspaper, wrote thank you's, read my Bible, watched people, mourned my loss. It was safe--I only had to talk to the person taking my order; for the most part, no one I knew came in (every so often but I could avoid them at times). It was too hard to keep telling my story, to answer questions and so it was here, at the montrose Panera where I felt safe. Strange isn't it--a coffee shop where people usually come to visit with someone else over coffee or lunch.
As the tears are streaming, I am remembering. Remembering how lost and numb I felt then and how far the Lord has brought me in 4 years.
The places that I had previously felt like I belonged, felt foreign to me. But this place, was a comfort.
I have since come to learn that there are many of us regulars; over months, I started to nod at the others. Over months after that, conversations started. And slowly, my story came out.
As my numbness has worn off, my desire to be intentional for the Lord came alive again. Let's face it, once a Navigator, always a Navigator :)
So I pray for you, even through my tears. For I remember those days vividly. I remember how lost I felt--for my normal life was gone forever. I didn't know where I belonged anymore. But by God's Grace and Mercy, He has reminded me that I do belong--I belong to Him. I have a life that He has orchestrated and He wants me to live that life.
Isa 41; God will help; He will give you strength and uphold you; He will walk with you and carry you, when it is necessary.
Love you sweetie; God has given you words to share so that people know what it is like in this journey of widowhood-- and you are teaching them how to pray, not only for you, but for others.