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That Time I Started Crying in Chik-Fil-A

What a busy day. First the bank. Then Wal-Mart, followed by the grocery store. Before I knew it, we were ready for lunch. We ended up at my favorite spot, Chik Fil A. My husband always wonders what’s so great about Chik Fil A. Why do people love to go there? Why do I love to go there?

I love their spicy chicken sandwich.

Bustling and chatting greeted us at the door as we went to stand in line. Teenage girls on their phones. A mother chasing her toddler, his squeals of delight echo.Kids running around in the play area. Another mom yelling over a group of kids trying to get their orders placed. Rushing and quickness behind the counter. Orders come out like a well-oiled machine. Smooth.

The teenage girls burst out laughing, pausing from their phones. My attention is drawn to them as they quickly go back to scrolling through their social media feeds, ignoring the lady with them who scolds them for who knows what. My son sits in his chair, impatiently waiting for our food to be delivered.

That’s when I see it. A woman pushed inside the front doors in a wheel chair.

Her wrinkled hands and creased smile show her age. Her young son pushes her gently inside to the tables. He asked mom what she wanted and she smiled, saying “The usual. And if they can make it extra spicy, I’ll take it.”

And as I was sitting at the table with my son, opening his milk, tears started trickling down my cheek.

I couldn’t help but smile at the mother and son as they rolled past our table, nodding my head with a quiet hello.

I couldn’t help but let the quietest cry escape me.

Images of my mother played in my mind. Images of trips to the closest mall growing up where mom and I made our traditional stop at Chik Fil A.

Images of  me pushing her inside the restaurant in her wheel chair, asking her what she’d want to eat.

Hearing her say a spicy chicken sandwich. Granted she would ask for something unusual, like no salt on the sandwich. Who asks for that at a fast food restaurant? I can see me rolling my eyes and shuffling to the counter with her odd request.

I remember when those moments used to embarrass me. That’s the thing about my mother. She wanted things the way she wanted them. One time she made me drive back to Dairy Queen because they didn’t give her extra fudge like she asked and she was going to make sure she got it. As we pulled back up to the window and they said they would charge us for extra fudge, mom just told them to keep her ice cream and we drove off.

I laugh out loud thinking about the times she asked for the manager while checking out at the grocery store, accusing them of “false advertising” on sale ads.  My lips quiver with reminiscent sadness, hearing her ask managers for a discount on our meal since it took so long to deliver.

All these little moments threaded together, creating my teenage experience with my mother.

These threaded moments woven together, supporting me as the strong woman I am today.

Sometimes I see Grief as my enemy. Sometimes I see Grief as my challenger. But that day, I saw Grief as a sweet friend, reminding me that those moments with my mother are times I’ll have for the rest of my life.

For a brief moment, I was expecting my mom to come rollin’ through those doors asking for a spicy chicken sandwich. Then I looked down at my meal, and smiled, realizing.

I love their spicy chicken sandwiches. I love the feeling of a small, warm tradition that comes with a busy day and a stop at Chik Fil A. As if Mom and I had been shopping and needed our waffle fries.

When Grief comes in those moments and all of the sudden you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with emotion, bursting out of your very soul, forget about those around you. Explore those feelings and where they’re coming from.

Let Grief be a friend to you in that moment and laugh at the unexpected memory in an unexpected place with the reminder of the most familiar feelings you can feel.

As I let Grief pulse through my heart that day, quietly laughing at the memories I have stored away of my mother, I can’t help but find myself feeling pursued by my Father. My heavenly Father who knows every essence of my being and every fiber of my sorrow.

I feel him in that moment. Laughing and crying with me. I see Him nod with approval at Grief for the gentleness that came upon me that day as I allowed myself cry in Chik Fil A.

Peace,
Glo

What do you do when Grief hits you unexpectedly? How I handled grief when it hit me  unexpectedly.

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15 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    God has a way of reminding us of those we loved….. this is beautiful!! Side note….. The spicy chicken sandwich is my fav! I ate their spicy chicken biscuit today! Thank you for sharing this!!

    Reply
  2. Joy DeKok
    Joy DeKok says:

    This made me cry – in that oh so good way when we understand the deep love of a mother and her daughter. I’ve been known to shed tears in Target or Hobby Lobby – places my mom and I loved to go. Then, like you, I see another twosome and remember with so much thanksgiving and tender tears. Thank you – I love thinking about her.

    Reply
  3. Cassandra
    Cassandra says:

    It’s the little things that gives us the biggest joys. Enjoy them while you can. I’m sure you have some beautiful memories with your mother. Take care. -Cass from sugarsaltspice.com

    Reply
  4. Toni Lepeska
    Toni Lepeska says:

    Glo, what a lovely article. I too find myself in moments like these, and though there is sadness there also is beauty and gratitute that I haven’t forgotten specific things about Mom and Dad. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Reply
  5. Jessica Trufant
    Jessica Trufant says:

    I love this. Thank you. It is a reminder for me. I lost my dad 5 years ago and I still have not let grief become my friend. But I will. It doesn’t always have to be tears of sadness. It can sometimes be tears of peace and memories.

    Reply
  6. Kenya
    Kenya says:

    His was beautiful. Transparent and beautiful and thank you for sharing. I have to say chick fil a is my favorite place in all of ever and that’s what caught my attention 😉

    Reply

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