The unique nature of McKinney's historic district is like a big swap meet. We all continue to trade and shift our stuff into each other's homes. With a lot of furniture on my sidewalk, there was a big flow of garage salers all day. Every piece of furniture has a story and all our customers were eager to listen, as we were to their stories about what they planned for the furniture's futures.
This particular pair of chairs was difficult to sell, but the string attached to that was the young gal who bought them. She said she did painting and reupholstering and couldn't wait to put them in her home. It makes you feel better when your stuff is adopted & going to be well loved.
The new owner of my chairs seemed very familiar, however, I couldn't place her. She said she had been in my house when she was very young. It happened that her sister was a grade school classmate of my oldest daughter.
I knew her mother and asked about her, I knew she had been ill (Huntington's Disease), and she told me she had passed. I was so sad for her and her family. I also know they had suffered hard times in their life prior to their mothers illness and somehow rose above their difficulties and made great lives for themselves.
There was such a sad connection. I texted her and reminisced about her mom from 1992. She was a beautiful woman with flowing dark hair, thick drawn on eyeliner (as her daughter had) and a true sense of style. We had been to each other's homes and visited regularly waiting for our girls school bell to ring. She "schooled" me in thrift store finds and designer clothing. She was kind and gentle and eager to help me think about clothing differently.
I texted "My Chair Girl" that evening and told her what I knew about her mom. It was an emotional connection for her. I didn't hear back from her immediately. I apologized for possibly upsetting her, she returned with a text thanking me for knowing her mom and sharing kind thoughts of her. She didn't know many people who knew her mom. As timing will have it, the next day, she was meeting her siblings at her mother's graveside to honor her for Mother's Day. She said she planned to read my text and share the memories with them.
We never know how we will connect to people and how a yard sale can turn into something that connects us on a different level. Reaching out to each other with kindness isn't only about the two people involved at that moment. It can change the lives of other people in a long and lasting way. The deeper connection for me was her little sister. My daughter's classmate reminded me of myself as a little girl; a little sad & deep inside, a little wayward, like immigrant gypsy girl. I overcame my adversity and so did her sister. I hope my kindness helped her as a young girl and continued with a chance meeting at a yard sale.
Kindness and connecting to your community is as rewarding to you as well as the people you reach out to. Our past often comes to visit us. Those children grow up and remember the person you were able to see in them.
I had two mothers of my childhood friends that saw more in me than my own family. They gave me the love and strength to believe in myself and know I am special. Our impact is great with tiny gestures. It's not just their past, they are moving forward and we all need to be a part of them finding their true selves.
I will forever be grateful and hopefully pay it forward. If I impacted only one child, I've done my job. The hope my mentors gave to me, lives on. I can't express my appreciation for those ladies.