Thorns have Roses
I was driving home after a long day of work, packing items for Salvation Army at the condo after work, did not have dinner yet, and was experiencing a long, stressful, and overwhelming month. As I was exiting off I-295 N to Old St Augustine Rd, I noticed the light at the bottom of the exit was still green. I slowed down a bit anyway to be safe and to make sure the intersection was still free and clear of traffic. Although the light was still green as I approached, I did not feel comfortable rushing through the intersection and about that time the light was starting to change to yellow so I stopped.
I was the only car in sight until a white Mercedes SUV pulled up to the left of me and I casually looked over to see a lady driver, alone, and crying. I immediately wanted to console her, but did not want to get out of my car, scare her, or get hurt myself at this intersection. So I decided I would follow her and to my pleasant surprise she was headed in the same direction to my home. She turned onto Old River Road and then turned into Lowe’s.
I was certain she knew I was following her so when she parked I deliberately parked a full row away so she wouldn’t fear I was a stalker. I waited a few minutes and noticed she was still in her SUV crying so I got out and approached her vehicle. I let her know that I noticed she was crying, I didn’t want her to be alone, and would she like to talk about it. She initially attempted to minimize her situation stating it was some medical issues and that she just saw a little girl in a wheel chair and shouldn’t be feeling sorry for herself. I told her she had ever right to feel sad and grieve about the additional medical complications she now has.
She asked me, “Where did you come from? Where are your wings and halo, you angel . ” I did inform her I was wearing a white shirt that day and we both chuckled. She said she needed to buy plants at Lowe’s to fill up empty pots on her patio for her horse farmhouse in Jacksonville she was attempting to sell for the past 6 months and the real estate agents were coming through with brokers the next day.
She was currently renting a place in Ocala to be closer to her daughter and closer to her horseback riding coach. She said she already did some “shopping therapy,” but still needed to buy flowers. I told her I could shop with her because I needed to find plants for my two empty flower beds in front of my house. She asked me my name and I said, “Monique” and found out she was, “Liz”. Then she thanked me and asked if she could give me a hug. We made small talk about flowers and shared a few personal stories. A Lowe’s sales person asked if we needed any help and I asked (for Liz) what type of plants would do well in direct sun and could survive without daily watering (since Liz informed me that she would not be in Jacksonville to water or nurture her plants). He recommended, “knock out roses” and Liz remembered them as well.
When Liz went to make her large purchase, that same sales person was now at the cash register and he asked, “how did you get roped into this?” When Liz attempted to share the story that I was a friendly stranger who saw her crying, he ignored it, laughed, and thought Liz was joking. He viewed us as close friends instead of God’s children brought together by circumstances (and synchronicity). Liz asked me where I was parked and I showed her explaining that I didn’t want to scare her or have her think she was being stalked. She smiled, walked to my car, and placed the beautiful “knock out rose” plant on the hood of my car and said, “when my life felt like thorns YOU were the rose.”
I thanked her through my tears and told her she helped me too! She did not know it, but when I had been so emotional about my life, it REALLY helped me to step outside myself and just be EXTREMELY THANKFUL for ALL the BLESSINGS I TRULY HAVE!!!!! We parted only knowing each others first name and that we were brought together at that very moment in time for a reason larger than ourselves.