Spotting the dish in my hand, she spoke to me.
She told me that she was glad I got the dish.
Reaching into her cart, she carefully pulled out the plates that she had found and we began a conversation about how we would hate to see these beautiful pieces of old china get chipped and broken amongst the stacks of objects on the thrift shop shelves.
She told me she had something she wanted to show me.
She knew the value to be far more than the asking price.
She told me she'd love to give it a good home, but she was in the midst of sorting through her 90 year old father's belongings and couldn't bring one more thing home right now.
As I was quickly deciding that 85 cents was a very good price for a cup and saucer with this marking ...
she mentioned that she had recently moved her dad into the memory care unit of an assisted living facility. The same facility that I had moved my mom into 3 years ago.
As we continued to look at dishes we compared notes on who was still living there since my mom passed away.
As she told me the circumstances that led to her dad's move to memory care, I had about decided that bargain cup and saucer would coordinate well with my Lenox Christmas china.
She shared with me that she was spending a lot of time with her dad because she'd recently lost her husband and isn't ready to lose her dad yet. I looked up at her and there were tears in her eyes.
She told me that he was the love of her life. They were both close to retirement and had plans to travel together. Until he was diagnosed with cancer and died 3 months later. She struggled to keep her composure. She said he had the same type of cancer that took my dad's life several years ago. I was instantly taken back to the sadness of that time. I hugged her and said "I understand". Because I do.