Yesterday was Sunday. And every Sunday I go to the store and do the shopping for the week. On good weeks when I plan well, this is the only trip I need to make… on non-organized weeks I find myself there every other day.

Feeling good about my planning, I got in the check-out line and realized my coupons were at home. I made a joke to the cashier and he smiled and said there was always next time. As he scanned and bagged, I noticed he was getting very quiet and his smile had left his face. He was still scanning my items quite productively but he wasn’t there mentally.

I’m sorry, he said, my head is not here. I seem to be double bagging things that don’t need bagged and not doing it to the ones that need it.

I told him it was early in the day, no worries.

He started to quietly cry while continuing to scan and bag my groceries. He said, I broke down earlier today and I thought I was over that. I smiled gently and said, I picture a box in my head and I put whatever it is in there and shut the lid until I have the right time to deal with it. He wiped at the tears. I continued to put bags in my cart.

He found a mental finger hold and pulled himself back. I’m so sorry, so sorry I did that, he told me. I didn’t see a thing, Dustin. He handed me my receipt and more coupons. I made a small joke about adding these to my stack at home and made him smile.

I’ve thought about him on and off since then. You never know what someone is going through or dealing with … all we can do is be kind and send off good thoughts and prayers and hope they land at the feet of the person struggling. Hang in there, Dustin. You got this.


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