Slight stoop? Check.
Permed white hair? Check.
Dressed just a tad formally for grocery shopping? Check.
My subconscious completes a checklist I didn’t know she had and reaches her conclusion: It’s Mom.
Of course it’s not my mother. Mom’s been dead for more than two years. And if she were still alive, she wouldn’t be in a Gilbert grocery-store parking lot on her own. But the old woman walking towards me triggers that recognition reaction. For just a second.
I stop breathing. For just a second.
I consider whether to act. For just a second.
Can I tell you something?
She doesn’t look alarmed, and so I tell her what just happened. I don’t cry. Not quite. And she gets it, better than I do, really.
I’m glad I could make your day.
Because Mom was here. For just a second.