Going to Wal-Mart in my town isn’t just going shopping, it’s a social event. Anytime of the day or night you are bound to run into someone you know. I know tons of people here because I worked at the university for several years, worked at the hospital in admissions, and am on staff at one of the largest churches in the city. Add to that my son being in Special Olympics and part of the sizable disabled community. I am routinely shocked by how many people I have shared parts of my life with.
After work today I ran to Wal Marts (as it’s called here) to pick up a few things. When I got out of my car I saw my former student, Shelby. As soon as I walked inside I spied my friend & current coworker/church member Jodie. We had just told each other goodbye at work and here we were, together again. After that I chatted with someone I had met at the hospital. Sheesh! I just wanted milk!
Then, unexpectedly, in the detergent aisle, I choked up, my eyes started to tear, and the realization of how much I enjoyed being in a place where I knew so many members of my community. That never happens in big cities. There was no previous experience that prepared me for the feeling of not being anonymous in a grocery store. Or at the gas station, McD’s, or the dentist office. I will miss this enormously. I will miss all of you, people of my life, more than you know.