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Two Grieving Mothers in a Dollar Store

Updated: Jul 18, 2023



Today while walking my dog, Mellow, I stopped into the Dollar Store to pick up a few items. While in line waiting to check out, I overheard the woman standing just ahead of me speaking with the cashier. They knew one another, and the woman shared that her son's birthday was coming up soon.


As she shared this, she became very emotional. The cashier consoled her. In that moment something urged me to ask the woman if she had lost her son. She smiled and told me that her only son had died in May of this year. Her eyes began to tear up as she shared her story with me. I told her I too had lost my only son, Andrew, this past March. I asked her son's name, shared Andrew's name with her, and in an instant two perfect strangers were hugging one another at the counter of the Dollar Store in our neighborhood.


We hugged for about 5 minutes, comforting each other from a pain only a mother who has lost a child will ever know.

As we stood there speaking our sons' names and sharing in our understanding, I was keenly aware of the fact that although there were several people in line, none offered angry or impatient comments for us to hurry along. They too felt the impact of this tender exchange. After our embrace, she thanked me and told me this encounter of compassion was just what she needed.


I left the store feeling emotional, a bit sad, and missing Andrew so much. When I got home and started to unpack my bags, my eyes began to swell and the tears began to flow. At that exact moment, my phone dinged, alerting me of a notification. I looked at my phone and in my disbelief Facebook had sent me a memory from Andrew Hightower. My son. I opened it and the message below is what showed up.



At the exact moment I opened the message, a breeze came in through my kitchen window and I felt it cross my cheek. I KNOW that Andrew is with me, and I feel his presence. He kissed my cheek today in that breeze as I read his words from his post 5 years ago today. He let me know that he is STILL looking out for his Momma, and that he is good.


My heart is at peace...for now.


Lillian Hightower

Philadelphia, PA


 
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