Labor Day
Monday September 03rd 2012, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Got to Kings Mountain this morning, talked to Mel and mostly Kris this time, her turn. Brought them chocolate hazelnut torte–and you should have seen the look on her face when I affirmed that it was flour-free and celiac-friendly. YES! (I got it right this time.)

One of the customers stepping into their booth area–I exclaimed Oh HI! and she did a doubletake and then Ohmygoodness!

It was Michelle’s old sixth grade teacher. The one who had believed in her, pushed on her, and, Michelle told me when I got home, had changed everything. Changed her study habits, made her realize which direction she wanted to go in as her middle school friends were making choices good and bad, made it so she ended up where she did, graduate degree and all, it was Mrs. Garcia who had changed everything–and right then, it was clear Michelle wished she’d gone with me.

The Kunihiros had, for the first time, made yarn bowls. I didn’t buy one because Holly gifted me with a red one from another potter awhile ago, but I got to see a couple of women buying the ones today and got to ask them, Oh, are you a knitter?

That’s a sentence that will make you a friend on the spot. They loved it and we talked yarn a moment.

The Kunihiros have a few sheep now, and Kris and I talked breeds and wool and alpacas a bit.

As I was getting ready to leave, Kris suddenly had a thought: would I like some water?

I didn’t want to deprive them…

Mel, walking over to their cooler and lifting the lid to show me the bottles: We have 24!

Well then. And then I admitted that, with no colon, I am under orders to drink 8 oz every two waking hours forever or my kidneys will fail, and that I had taken my husband’s car, which is easier to maneuver and park up there, but had forgotten to put water in it. I always carry some with me–except…and so I  was very very grateful for the offer.

It had just suddenly seemed what she should do.

And a good time was definitely had by all.

Then this evening, there was our neighborhood’s annual block party. Helene was there, and I was telling a few of the parents of teenagers in one little group that she was the woman who had gotten my daughter’s phone number out of her while she was still lucid, lying in the street, and had called me: riding her bike to school at 13, my oldest had been racing to catch up to her brother, flipped her bike, landed head first, broke her helmet and then broke her shoulder as she rolled.

And that’s how we got to know Helene.  We thanked our kids for actually wearing their helmets after they were out of our sight. Last I heard, the elementary our kids went to still has hers on display: this is why we wear these. (Those parents tonight wanted to give their kids a story about helmets they would listen to.)

Helene was gratified at being the hero again, all these years later, and gave me a hug.

Once a year. Kings Mountain and right here at home. We see each other once a year and stop, and take the time, and be together, and talk.

We should do this more often.

3 Comments so far
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Aha! I see the tables were turned on you! Someone did something good for you!

Your story about Michelle and her sixth grade teacher is most heart-warming. This is what great teachers do.

Comment by Don Meyer 09.04.12 @ 8:50 am

So glad your body cooperated so you could go!

Comment by kmom 09.04.12 @ 9:56 am

Oh good! So glad you could get out and see your friends. And thankful for your quick, caring neighbor, and Michelle’s teacher. Sometimes we don’t know the help we can do.

Comment by DebbieR 09.04.12 @ 5:18 pm

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