Weeping in the cheese aisle

Poppies Grow In Fields Ahead Of Armed Forces Day...CORBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: Wild poppies grow amongst a crop of rapeseed in fields on June 23, 2011 in Corbridge, United Kingdom. The vibrant poppies are the best in years according to locals after a warm Spring and have bloomed in time for Armed Forces Day on Saturday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Remembrance Day.  Typically on November 11th at 11am, I would be in a school assembly with my students, honouring Canada’s veterans through songs, readings, and the presentation of class wreaths.

This year I was in Costco.

(Sidebar: Do you have any idea how many people are at Costco on a Wednesday near 11am??? A lot.  Like a few people short of mayhem a lot.)

And of course I left the house in the jacket that didn’t have a poppy on it. ‘Mum dumb’ is a real thing, people.

I did, however, take note of the time when I entered Costco, knowing that 11am would come while I was inside.

Anyway, there I was in the cheese aisle, contemplating the Balderson 2 year old cheddar, when I heard a trumpet playing on one of the televisions at the front of the store.  (Volume must have been ca-ranked!)  The Last Post.  Without looking at my watch phone, I knew it was 11am.

I stopped and bowed my head, silently begging my son to not lose his mind because the cart had stopped moving.  Right away, I became aware of the stillness in that behemoth of a store.  Costco is never quiet. It is certainly never still.  I couldn’t help myself – I had to glance around.  What I saw caused me to weep, right there in the cheese aisle.  Every single person was still.  Every. Single. Person.  Every ethnicity, men and women, old and young.  Everyone had stopped for that moment of silence to honour the people who fought to make (and keep) this country the amazing place I am blessed to call home.

It started with a lump in my throat and tingles in my nose.  Then the burny sensation behind my eyes followed and the pooled tears that blurred my vision.  Yep, it was happening.  I was crying in Costco.  Looking at my sweet, chubby-cheeked son only made it worse, and thinking about a very special war veteran I befriended several years ago when he was 99 years old pushed me over the edge.

The moment of silence came to an end and Costco started to move again.  I stayed in the cheese aisle a little lot longer than was necessary for selecting cheese.  I needed the cool air from the refrigerated shelving to cool my face and help me regain my composure.

Next year I will be in another school assembly on Remembrance Day.  It will make me smile to know, though, that everywhere – even in Costco – people are stopping to show respect for our veterans.

One thought on “Weeping in the cheese aisle

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