Café Heart

The following is a Facebook post from February 2, 2017, one year ago exactly. It was an especially warm heart exchange that reminds me that while I have my own agenda for giving hearts there are times where  recipients see me as an intermediary.

How do a headache and a search for rice noodles end up with a heart and a hug? Easy. I had a sinus headache threatening to move over to migraine territory so I went to the weigh-and-pay cafe at work in search of some carbs and ginger candies. As I spooned some rice into my styrofoam tray, I moved over a little to let a woman who appeared to be in her late 50s pass by. She said, “oh, you’re not in my way. I’m just looking to see if they have those rice noodles today. I never know when they’ll have them.” A conversation ensued about how the cafe only offers certain hot dishes on certain days but it’s hard to keep track of the schedule. The woman mentioned she’d just turned 63 the week before. I pulled a heart out of my pocket. “Happy belated birthday!”

While she stared at the heart in astonished silence, I gave my elevator speech about keeping hearts handy to give to people I connect with, however briefly, and that she seemed like a good person to give one to. Still astonished, she looked at me and said “I know old angels when I see them! I’m about to cry.” That almost made *me* cry. I sensed she was open to a hug so I offered one. It was one of the warmest hugs I’ve shared with a stranger I’ve given a heart to, and that’s saying something. She wasn’t a stranger for long. She introduced herself and asked for my name. She told me her brother shared her birthday — 4 years apart — and that he had passed in 2011. “When you gave this to me I felt a chill go all through my body! This is my brother saying hello.” She looked at me again and said, “Sandra, you’re one of God’s angels!” We parted with smiles.

I was so moved by the exchange that I forgot to get the ginger candies. It didn’t matter though because my headache had all but disappeared.

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