I was standing in the check-out line at Harris Teeter when I saw her.
Her face was familiar but I could not be certain. She, and 3 girls, stood in the line next to me.
I looked again, trying not to be obvious, but trying harder to remember.
Then I heard her speak to one of the girls.
And I knew.
And I remembered and I swallowed hard. Swallowing down the memory of that day.
That day in June.
She was the voice that called out to us in the emergency room.
She was the voice that was commanding, yet kind.
She was the voice that told us our 11 year old son had no cardiac activity.
She was the voice that ushered us to a small room.
She was the voice that announced he had been resuscitated.
She was the voice that stayed late into the night to care for our family needs in the beginning of our darkest hours.
She was the voice of compassion.
Her name I could not remember.But I did remember her voice…
I hurried to pay – hoping I could leave before her. Instead I followed her out of the store – purposely keeping distance between us. Afraid she would recognize me? Purposely avoiding her? Purposely avoiding the still raw emotions from that day nearly 2 1/2 years ago…
Groceries loaded in my car, I wanted to jump in and speed away.
But a voice inside me urged.
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern
And I found myself across a dark parking lot standing face to face with the voice who was loading groceries in the back of a car….asking if she worked at New Hanover Regional? She said yes and told me I looked familiar. And I said I am Zack Mayo’s mom.
And she hugged me.
And I told her I would never forget her kindness and thanked her for all that she did for Zack and for our family.
And she shared some of her life with me.
And we hugged some more.
And I know God put us together. Not just in that Emergency Room – but in that parking lot at that very moment.
And two grown women, who barely know one another – bound together by the memory of a boy loved – stand hugging tearfully, sharing life and death in a Harris Teeter parking lot.
And I return home – car full of groceries. Heart full of joy.
And I whisper a thank you to Him.
Grateful that I didn’t miss an opportunity to say thank you to Karen.
Who will you thank today?