We sat down, my son and I, our legs hurt as we had battled the post-Christmas sale shoppers. A rare ‘treat’ (for my son), we visited McDonalds. It’s annoying for me as I’m a vegetarian and therefore I have to wait for my order as they aren’t pre-prepared like the others. Actually, in hindsight, that might be a good thing.
As we took our seat, a rather dejected looking young man sat opposite us, he was smart, his black jacket buttoned right up to his chin and a grey scarf sat underneath. A few minutes later a young woman appeared, she was quite glamorous looking. Heavily made up eyes that only young women really get away with and shiny black hair fell down her back. She sat beside him and looked into his eyes, she whispered something and hugged him gently. He shook his head slowly and looked down at the table we all shared.
My son looked at me and his eyes said ‘don’t say a word’. So I didn’t.
My son and I carried on eating our fries and chatted. My eyes though were drawn to them. I could sense some pain, some deep sadness and as I flitted and darted around the room trying to ignore the couple as instructed, again my gaze led to her. This time I watched as her huge dark brown eyes brimmed oveer with tears that she was trying to hold back. Eventually they teetered over the flimsy edge of her eyes and scurried heavily down her tanned skin. They left streaks of hurt behind on her perfect cheeks. She didn’t wipe them away. She didn’t make a sound. I turned to him fleetingly. Identical tears lurched and fell down his face, finally landing on our table.
My son again glared at me and shoved the rest of his burger in his hungry mouth,he stated quietly he didn’t want the rest of his fries and started collecting the bags of shopping, hurrying me on my way with his look.
I’ve been wondering a lot about the couple. What sadness touched their lives that day?
As the year-end draws closer I think of Tes as often as ever and even more about what she should’ve been. A sixteen year-old looking forward to being seventeen years old in 2015.
That’s what she should’ve been.
What I’ve always felt though is we can’t wallow. Well I can’t wallow in self-pity. It’s bad for me. Once life has been touched by tragedy, it’s easy to be swallowed up by the pure devastation, it’s a daily fight not to be. The truth is, out there, life, death, happiness, unhappiness….. it continues to happen, to everyone.
It is a cliché to say make today the best day you can but it’s the truest and most important thing we can try to do, in my opinion. We are responsible for this moment, we make it what we want it to be. It doesn’t have to be joyous or happy it can be reflective and quiet. It doesn’t have to be running the marathon, it could be meditating or reading a book. It doesn’t have to be love and romance, it could be enjoying your own space. It can be what you want.
I’ll not know why the woman in McDonalds cried but she reminded me that she is one of many many people who may find today a struggle. I hope in time she finds something new to smile about again and that 2015 is a happier year for her and for all the people out there struggling with today but living with hope for tomorrow.
Wishing you peace and happiness for 2015 x