In a crowded restaurant with an hour-long, Friday night wait, we scored a high-top table in the bar. The seating and location left something to be desired, but it was worth it for a quicker dinner.
After a meal that was quite the entertaining story itself – not the good kind – we awaited our bill. A woman walked up to us and started talking.
“Are these tables first-come, first-serve?” the same question we had asked an hour earlier.
“Sure are,” I replied, and before I could say another word, she explained, “We’re celebrating what would have been my son’s 43rd birthday, just my daughter and me…it’s been our annual tradition since he passed away.”
“Oh…honey…!” and I couldn’t help but hug tight this mother-sister of mine.
He died when he was 24, the year I got married, started a new job, moved to the beach. So much living, my 24th year.
She pulled out her phone and shared his picture. He wore a baby face, a mullet and a smile.
Shortly after, though there were others hovering over our spot, I motioned her over and made sure they didn’t have to wait to begin their celebration.
We stopped before heading out the door to pay for desserts for the pair and made sure the managers knew their reason for being there; a small gesture to celebrate with her, to acknowledge the life of her son, to care.
It was a random act of kindness, not a buzzword.
In our casual passing, I was reminded that motherhood is a sisterhood whose bond is the deep affections and sometimes long-suffering we have for our children. We may not experience the same joys or pain, but we understand we are forever changed the moment our babies slip from the womb.
And it is why sometimes, when we don’t know what else to say or do, we show our love by sharing dessert.