It finally happened -- my first Midwest Kleenex moment. Marnie volunteered a story her son, Nathan, shared at his grandmother's funeral. Marnie was choked up and her tears were contagious. I noticed my friend Megan was keeping her head down as she helped Marnie with her membership application. She was the only one in the group who wasn't bawling.
"Every Saturday my son went shopping at Costco with his grandmother," Marnie told us. At her funeral Nathan spoke about how much he loved his grandma. His favorite memory was spending time with her while the two shopped together.
"I can't tell you how special it is for us to have our own Costco in our neighborhood here in Coralville," Marnie said. All of us were touched by Marnie's story and it took me an hour to regain my composure. Then it happened again. Marnie returned with Nathan and introduced him to our group. I sensed some kind of supernatural presence while Nathan talked with us. Perhaps his grandmother's spirit was in the room.
"What grade are you in?" I asked.
"I will be in 7th grade."
"Some day you will have your own family and you will be able to take them shopping just like your grandmother did with you, Nathan."
Marnie added, "And I will spend Saturdays with your kids at Costco just like grandma."
"Would you like to come to our V.I.P. party and meet the people in charge?" I asked Nathan and his mother.
Nathan's eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas day. I made a mental note to bring my Kleenex to the party. It will take a miracle to keep my from shedding tears the moment I introduce Nathan to our CEO. And one special grandmother will be smiling from Heaven.