I look at people differently now. As I go about my normal daily functions, I don't make assumptions about those I walk amongst.
A year ago today, I had my last real day with my mother. We went shopping together, and it was a perfectly lovely day, as normal as one could possibly have with a mom who was still recovering from brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her brain and liver functions steadily declining from the tumors in her life-sustaining organ. Maybe to some we didn't seem normal, her looking a little odd, speech still slightly slurred, having to walk behind a cart to keep herself steady. Us giggling a little more than usual, just giddy to be have the day with one another.
No one around us knew what a miracle that day was. How could they? How could they know how I had almost lost her to that tumor in her brain? They would never believe the state she had been in just a few weeks before, unable to walk without aid and not having full use of her hand. No one knew that she was a walking, talking, breathing miracle that day. But I did. And I drank it in.
I am still so thankful to have had that day. Even more thankful that I documented it here in my little spot in the blogosphere. Memories are so precious, and most of them are so ordinarily created that we don't stop to fully appreciate them. For the most part, we don't even notice we are in the process of making a memory until the experience has long passed.
I look at people differently now. I wonder who around me is creating that one last memory. I wonder who around me is going about a normal day with someone they love completely unaware that it's their last ordinary day together. I wonder. I treat people differently. I see more pain in eyes than I used to as I pass people in the aisle at Publix. I catch glances more often, smile at more strangers. I remember that day, and how ordinary it was, but how completely unique it will forever be in my mind.
Sharing God's love in midst of the ordinary. A simple but genuine smile. Patience with a stranger. Unexpected kindness. Making the cashier laugh as she rings up your ordinary purchase. Remembering that we all wear our masks... and I will never know the stories hidden behind the faces of each person I meet as I carry out my own ordinary days.