The afternoon that we learned my father was not going to wake up came after a day and a half of waiting for him to.
So much crying and talking, so many sour patch kids and swigs of tequila.
I remember sitting on the couch, looking like someone who just escaped a pile of rubble. I hadn’t eaten much and didn’t care to, but something in the decisiveness of what was to come cleared my mind enough to drink some water and order a pizza.
Steve had driven me everywhere those few days (and the days after), so he took me to pick up the pizza. As he turned the corner I motioned to the gas station ”pull in here please!” He did, quickly, thinking I was going to be sick or forgot my wallet or there was some emergency he didn’t realize.
Really it was just a donut. The girl at the counter asked how she could help and in my trance like state I said ”I need a donut” and she chuckled ”you need one?” and I didn’t laugh, I said ”Yea, my dad just died, I need a donut”
Her whole face changed, she apologized, told me about losing her mom not that long ago. She place the boston cream donut and pumpkin muffin in the bag and handed it to me. She didn’t let me pay, she asked that I let her do that for me and shared heartfelt sympathy.
I have thought about her, and her kindness every day. I’ve thought about going back to thank her, to let her know what that meant to me. Time passed and it started to seem weird to just pop in looking for her – did sugared up, buzzed and emotionally drained me even remember her name?
Tonight I took a ride with Steve to get gas so he wouldn’t have to get it in the morning. I was in my pajamas but changed my pants incase I wanted to get something. I ran in for a drink while he was pumping the gas and they didn’t have what either of us wanted. I walked back to the door and yelled out to him, we decided on nothing and before I made it back to the car, I saw her.
I went back in and walked up to the counter, where she was closing up and probably hoped I wasn’t a straggling customer. I said ”Hi, i think I’m looking for you, if your name begins with an S” She looked at me exactly the way any of us would look at the person approaching them this way …
”Back in September I came in when my dad died and …” She said ”I gave you donuts” ”YES! I have thought about you so many times, and hoped I’d see you again to thank you for that, for being so kind in one of the worst moments of my life” She smiled, I told her how things got blurry and said you know how grief is, she agreed. She told me her name.
5 months to the (sun)day, I got to say thank you to the stranger who comforted me on the brink of unimaginable grief.
I recently joked that my new mantra would be ‘a donut a day keeps the depression away’ – today it was a donut shop that helped it wane.
Thank you, Savannah.