Well today was that day and as we were out and about shopping at lunchtime, I called in.
I asked for the manageress, told her part of my story and she remembered it. She went and got some sort of incident book where she'd written down the details and after confirming my name, she said she'd fix me a Whopper. I asked if she could make it into a combo and I'd pay the difference but, as I thought, she said she'd fix me a combo but it was 'on the house.'
I do like American customer service.
While I was enjoying my free meal, an old couple (well fancy that in Sebring !! ) came in and the wife (I assume) sat at a corner booth while her hubby (another assumption) went to order. Mrs Wrinkly got out a James Patterson book so was obviously a refined woman with discerning taste. Mr. Wrinkly returned with 2 coffees and then Mrs. Wrinkley put down the book and from her bag got out a little napkin parcel containing a sandwich and a cookie.
I watched as she proceeded to nibble on the sandwich and drink her coffee. This was SO like watching my mum and dad from years ago as mum often took food into a cafe for them to eat while I'd order from the menu on the rare occasions we ate out. This was mostly due to us being poor but was also because they came from a generation that wasn't used to eating out and preferred to make their own meals. I'd be mortified in case we got 'caught' but like this old lady, mum would hide the food at her side and pass it out to herself and my dad when the staff weren't looking.
So I was taken back to those days and as both my mum and dad are now gone, the memories being raised by this little old lady passing the food in stages to her husband almost brought tears to my eyes. I was so lost in thought that I didn't realise I was staring and when I came to, I noticed the lady was looking right at me too. I smiled at her and she smiled back and then she put her finger to her lips and it was all I could do to not rush over and give her a big hug.
To avoid a scene and possible arrest, I stayed where I was and my smile just widened.
It had been a wet and miserable morning but just then the sun broke through the clouds and although I'd love to say that a beam of sunshine lit up their corner, it didn't need to.
I'd had a free meal and a lovely trip down memory lane. It's not a lane I frequent very often as when I try and walk along it, it tends to get foggy and fade away. So times like this are very precious to me.
Even though she died nearly 7 years ago and I'm now 57, I guess I still miss my mum.