New Friends, Sweet Moments

I made a new friend last Monday.

I don’t know if this is one of those things where you cross paths for just a moment, or we’ll spend more time together in the future.

It doesn’t matter. I’m just glad it happened.

Mrs. M

We met under unusual circumstances, and are unlikely friends.

The petite Mrs. M is forty-some years older than me. I’m not sure exactly. I don’t know where she lives, or how many kids or grandkids she has. I do know that she has perfectly coifed hair, and a nice smile.

I also know how she met her late husband. He loved to jitterbug, and had a championship trophy to prove it. At six foot five inches, he had long legs and could get pretty fancy with his moves, especially with a petite partner. He picked the shortest girl in the room, and they became jitterbug partners for life.

Mrs. M told me this story while I helped her put roses on her husband’s grave. They were from the garden they had tended together for years. They were love in bloom form.

A Memorial Day Birthday

I was at the cemetery to put flowers on my Dad’s grave. It wasn’t just Memorial Day, it was also his birthday. He would have been 79.

I’m still grieving his loss.

And that’s what I was doing in my car, wiping my eyes, gathering myself so I could drive home, stuck in my own thoughts, when I saw a woman struggling with her cane, rain hat and a bucket full of roses.

I thought I’d give her a hand before I left.

Helping Helps

After getting the flowers arranged and chatting about their life together, I offered to take some pictures. I pulled out my phone, but it died instantly, before I could get even one shot.

I ran back to the car, started it up and plugged in the phone so it could recharge.

Mrs. M gave me her email address and I helped her back to her car and sent her on her way, with a promise to send a picture as soon as I could.

After she left, I went back to the car to grab the phone. But the door was locked.

All of the doors were locked. With the car running.

Luckily, I had the key fob in my pocket because a week earlier, through a ridiculous series of events I locked my keys in the car while it was running.

I’m not kidding.

Thrilled I have the key fob with me, just in case something weird happened, I pressed the unlock button. Nothing.

I pressed it again. Nothing.

Pressed the lock button. Silence.

The panic button. Complete and total silence.

I couldn’t help but start laughing. Really? Again? Here? Yep.

There was a man sitting in the car next to me. He kindly let me borrow his phone to call AAA. The rest of his family came over to help and commiserate with me. They took out their key fobs to see if they had the right size batteries. He offered to break a window. He even tried calling a buddy with a tow truck company to see if he come over and help.

They kept me company for a while, but I soon convinced them I’d be just fine, and they went on their way.

It started to rain, so I scrambled up a bank to get under a tree and wait. I watched people come and go. Bringing flowers, gently touching gravestones, wiping eyes, hugging.

There was a bagpiper. A bugler played taps.

The rain stopped, a stunning double rainbow appeared.

A security guard came by, and I flagged him down. He didn’t have a Slim Jim, but offered to go back to the front gate and guide the AAA driver to the far corner where I was waiting.

Help Arrives

After an hour, my knight in a shiny white van, pulled up. He had the door to my car open in about ten seconds.

I turned off the car, grabbed my (fully-charged) phone and went to take the photos I promised to Mrs. M.

The next day, I emailed them to her, leaving out my adventures after she left.

The extraordinary gratitude she expressed in her reply was so heartwarming, I’d do it ALL all over again. Except maybe this time I’d wear a rain coat that was actually waterproof.

 

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