It was our last day in Paros. It was hot and we needed a drink and so we entered a convenience store that we had visited a number of times. This store had every imaginable thing one might need including groceries, kitchen utensils, and laundry needs etc.
The usual lady was there. We had interacted with her several times. She was always smiling and extremely helpful but today something was very different. Her eyes were downcast, her shoulders and back were slumped. She gave us no eye contact. I felt an enormous saddness coming from her. I couldn’t speak Greek and she could speak hardly any English but I wanted to do something to help her, so I drew her attention. I made signs of crying and pointed to her and then I made signs of smiling while shaking my head.
She looked up at me, her eyes wide and filled with tears. Her emotional anguish was clear. She made a gesture of hopelessness and disillusionment and said full of emotional pain, “I have three children”.
I understood and gestured to her that I understood her pain. I then conveyed to her that I thought she was a beautiful and worthwhile person. I then blew her a kiss and wrapped my arms around myself to indicate a warm hug. She smiled a wistful and tender smile. I felt a closeness something special, something universal. I walked away somehow enriched. I knew I would never see her again. I still think of her tenderly.
When we look it can be incredible what we see.