She said, “What a lovely coat,” as she brushed against me in the narrow airplane aisle. I completed the hug we were nearly in and thanked her with smiling words.
Because it wasn’t just about the coat. I suppose it never is. This was the last coat my mom and I bought together at Herberger’s. A time capsule of laughter and trust and love. The woman on the plane didn’t know that it was our favorite times together, trying things on, being and becoming the best of ourselves, inside and out. She didn’t know how many times the mall had saved us. Lifted us. Held us. How it still does. But with those four words in her passing compliment, she gave it all to me again. I lived it again on the plane. Again, right now.
Never underestimate the power of a compliment. With just a few words, we can give so much. Which then allows that person to give to someone else. And so it goes. On, and on… reaching further than across the aisles. Lifting higher than any sky.
Give the gift today. To a stranger. A family member. A friend. The face in the mirror. Say the words. Complete the hugs. Give it all.