A birthday gift for “Mum”


I’m going to share something that happened at
work yesterday. It seemed to me like my son Carmen might have been had a
small part in it. First, let me start by saying that the next few weeks
are kind of difficult for me because Carmen’s birthday is coming up on
the 29th. It’s okay though, it is what it is, but I’ve been a little bit
more teary-eyed than usual and will continue to be so until after
the 29th. Anyway, I work at Macy’s right now in the cosmetics dept. and
every day I have a sales goal. So, yesterday it was $308. My manager
came up and gently reminded me that I’m only at 50% of my goal, and that
I only have two hours left on my shift. Okay. So then I get a few more
customers and it’s getting near the end of my shift, I’m still off my
goal by $29. Whatever. So then I look over in the glove and scarf dept
and see a lady (say in her late 60’s) holding onto the counter and
trying to lift her leg. I leave my counter and go over to check if she’s
okay. She leans on me and says, “Oh, I have such a bad cramp in my
leg.” She holds onto my arm and we walk around a little bit. I carry her
bags for her and we head over to my counter, where I have a chair. She
says, “Oh, can I rest in your chair.” I said, “Well, of course.” It’s
kind of at an elevated height so I almost have to lift her up. I asked
her where her leg hurt (it was her calf). She said she gets cramps at
night but not usually in the day time. I told her she probably needs
some potassium and that she should stop and get some oranges on her way
home. I felt so bad for her. I reached down and rubbed her leg. Then she
started to feel a little better and I helped her out of the chair. She
said, “Can I buy this hat and scarf at your register?” I said sure. We
walked over to my register. We started chatting a little bit. I rang in
her stuff. It came to $29. Then at the end of the sale it showed her
name because she is a Macy’s customer, “Carmen ______” I stared at the
screen on the register, surprised, and said, “Oh, your name is, Carmen?”
She said yes. I smiled, my eyes began to tear up and I looked away for a
second. I regained my composure and gave her change and her receipt and
said, “That’s a nice name, Carmen.” She was a little bit puzzled that I
liked her name so much and I said, “Well, that was my son’s name. He
died in a car accident in 2008 and I don’t hear his name much or get to
say it anymore.” She smiled at me. Then we continued chatting. I told
her I am at Macy’s right now because I relocated to Dartmouth a few
years ago to kind of “start over” after he died. I like my job, but I’m
still looking for something, that this is more like a temporary thing.
She said, “Oh, you’re looking for a job? I live in Mattapoisett and I
have my own business working with the elderly.” I said, “Oh, wow.” I
told her a little bit more about Carmen and told her his birthday is
coming up on the 29th, and that I am sad and that I miss him so much.
She said, “I know how hard it is for you. I lost my son too.” I said,
“You did? What was his name?” She said, “Paul.” I said, “How old was
he?” She said, “He was 24. He died 15 years ago from cancer.” I said,
“My son would be 24 right now, 25 on the 29th.” I said, “How many
children do you have?” She said, “I have four.” I said, “Oh wow, same as
me, and where was Paul in the four?” She said, “He was my youngest.” I
said, “Same as me.” Then she came up and hugged me and I started to cry.
She said, “I know, I understand.” (Funny, because I was just comforting
her when she got that cramp in her leg.) She gave me her business card
and took my number and said she’ll call me next week and we will have
lunch. I’m looking forward to getting to know her. I also made my sales
goal. Carmen’s purchase brought me to exactly $308, exactly what I
needed right before my shift ended. Sweet. 

I can hear my son saying, “See, Mum, I’m always here.  I’m still here.  I love you.”

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *