Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Sidewalk Encounter

Snow has been falling all morning here in Philadelphia. The sidewalks look like they are putting on layer after layer of fresh white sweaters. Weather outside is frightful, as the song goes, but you gotta admit it is so, so, so gorgeous.

All the classes at the senior center are taking a two-week break for the holidays.* The other day I thought I’d swing by the senior center any way in case any of my buddies showed up for our class accidentally. On my way there, I saw Mo who did forget that there was no class. “But I’m glad I bumped into you because I have something to tell you,” he said. “My ladyfriend saw the website yesterday and loved it. She hasn’t got through it yet, but she will, I am sure she will.” It was chilly out but we stayed chatting for a good several minutes. Mo doesn’t use the computer but his ladyfriend does, he had told me that before. She has email and everything. “I just wanted to tell you that I finally showed her what I've been writing,” Mo said again, beaming. “I wish you could’ve seen her. She couldn’t take her eyes off the screen. And she couldn't stop laughing. She was finding out things she had never known about me. I hadn’t seen her laugh like that for a long time. And she wants to call all my kids this week and show them how to get on the website.” He promised me he would tell me what his kids say.

I felt tears in my eyes. I don’t know if it was what he said or how excited he was. Or the image of this family getting just a tiny little bit closer this Christmas, even though I got the sense that they may not be spending it in the same place. Standing there on the chilly city sidewalk, it was the first moment I really felt like it’s a week till Christmas.

(*Even though the physical class is taking a quick break, this blog is paddling along. I still have a few more stories from previous weeks to show you. And for those of you who are newer to the blog, I was thinking that I can do some “highlights” from previous stories too. Alright, gotta stop typing so I can head out to put my feet in that fluffy snow…)