The boys and I ran into the grocery store by my house. It is a bit dodgy and comes with stories of its own but it is close and cheap so I still go. As we walked in, I immediately noticed Miss Mary checking out. I smiled at her and she came running towards us yelling "you the pretty white lady." I think that in that instant the entire store stopped to watch. Miss Mary is notorious and as general rule of thumb, people avoid her. As she came towards me I could see everyone watching. I happily hugged her and asked how she was. She loudly said she was doing well. At this point, I still wondered if she was lucid enough in that moment to really remember me. She then turned to the lady who helped her buy her food and said "she used to be my neighbor! She was always nice to me giving me candy and stuff. Once, she even gave me a beautiful table cloth (she is holding it in the photo below)." She turned back to me and smiled "You know, I still have it. I love it." In the moment, I almost cried. I felt about three feet tall. I mentioned a while back that I can kind of be a snot. I've felt my heart harden in the last few years. I've really been trying to be more open and less judgmental. Miss Mary reminded me of this. I needed to see her. It was a reminder to show kindness. That even little acts can make an impact. We chatted for a moment, she met the boys. She knew Henry, but of course he isn't the tiny baby he was when she left. Alex played peak-a-boo with her. She hugged me and went our separate ways. It was so nice to know she was doing okay. I'll admit as I walked away part of me did kind of wish she'd call me "white bitch". You know, for old times sake.
PS. While we were on the subject of people on my street. We once ran into an older lady who needed a lift. I foolishly gave her one. Little did I know, we were going to pick up drugs. Yes, she was a drug dealer. She had a purse full of pills and offered to watch my kids while I did cocaine. You know, because it would help give me energy. I wish I was making this up. I promptly called the police as soon as she was out of my car. It was the longest car ride ever. So you know, looks can be deceiving. Sweet looking grandma turned out to be a drug pusher. Needless to say, I never give rides to people. EVER. I'm going to keep showing kindness, but not in my car or my house. This was a couple of years back, by the way. I just thought it was a funny foot note to this story. And who says Cleveland doesn't have some urban flare.