FOOD FOR THE SOUL
In 2005 my ex-husband and I separated. As anyone who has gone through a divorce knows, there are emotions involved that you don’t even realize you knew you could have. I had taken a break from nursing and I was running our family business, Pop’s, in our small town. Stepping into Pops was like a step back in time. One one side when you walk in is a wall of candy, some that I remember as a kid, one side has a soda fountain and ice cream, there is seating in the back with booths, and one area was used to serve lunch during the week. We sold the business after my dad died in 2007, but I have many fond memories of my adventure as a business owner. Maddie was in first grade, so it was wonderful to be able to pick her up after school and bring her to the store until I was finished for the day. Pops became her second home, and my fellow co-workers became her extended family. Every customer that came through the door knew Maddie, she is just that type of kid who doesn’t know a stranger. My daughter Katelyn had left that fall for college, so it was Maddie and I against the world. I soon found that I needed to return to my nursing job on a part-time basis to secure health insurance, so I was kept very busy running the store, working a few days a week as a nurse, and adjusting to life on my own.
My ex-husband began dating about 6 months after our separation, and Maddie and the new girlfriend seemed to get along well. While he and I had a rocky relationship for a while, I supported him in his effort to move on, and Maddie knew he had my blessing. I think it made it easier on her, because she had already had enough changes in her life at that point. She was always worried about me being alone. I would tell her over and over that mom was busy enough without worrying about dating, and that I had her and that was enough. She continued to worry about my being alone, no matter how much I tried to reassure her. It was so hard to explain to a 6-year-old that meeting a man was the last thing on my list at that point. One day at the store, during the rushed lunch hour, I noticed people reading something attached to the cooler as they picked up their food. They would read this note and giggle, often times turning around to smile at me, some giving me a thumbs up sign. I had no idea what was going on. We were busy, so I forgot all about it until I was sweeping up after lunch and found this paper she had taped to the cooler at some point that night before.
That little stinker had become a match maker. I laughed so hard as I peeled it off of the cooler. You can see that it is all crumpled from being folded up in my wallet for 6 years. I appreciate the slim body she gave me, and it was nice that she pointed out that only “boys” need apply. I still smile when I think of the love this little girl had in her heart for me as she was trying to make me happy. I don’t even know why I have kept this note all of these years, but I do know that Maddie was way cooler that any dating website that has been created. You go girlfriend, I love you and your ingenuity. You are truly a gift from God ♥