My Old Friends

This afternoon required a quick stop at the grocery store.  I mindlessly traveled through the aisles picking up a few standard items which I likely could find there with my eyes closed.

I quickly found an empty check-out line, and put my items on the counter.  As I walked down to the end, I saw it:  A stack of blue sneakers with a pen. 

It was like running into someone I knew but not being able to place them because this was not where I usually encountered them.  My initial reaction was pure happiness at seeing these old blue friends, followed by a few moments of confusion.

'But it's not walk season.'

'They've never done sneakers here before.'

'They weren't here over the weekend.'

'I wonder what made them decide to do this.'

As I bagged my groceries, the clerk asked, "Would you like to buy a sneaker to help people with diabetes?"

"Absolutely," I replied, enthusiastically enough to warrant a glance from the next cashier over.

As I signed my name, another employee walked by.  "You're on blue sneakers already!  How'd you do that?"  Apparently they'd each started with the same color and every time they finished a stack, they'd move on to the next.  My cashier had already been through yellow and green.

"I asked every customer to buy one," she replied.  "And they did."

"Thank you,"  I said.  "I have a daughter with diabetes and that really means a lot to me."

"My father had it too."

Each sneaker represents a donation of only a dollar to JDRF.  And every little conversation like this is only a drop in the bucket in terms of raising awareness about this disease.  Yet multiplied by the thousands of each of these which occur each day, the end result is progress. 

And that's why I was so happy to run into my old blue friends at the grocery store today.

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