• Magdalena Reilly

Story #5: Thank you, unique Eunice

I saw her outside the supermarket, just far enough to notice the ocean-blue green-moss eyes glistening, her grey gloved hand waving to me, as I biked away with a loaded basket of groceries. The brown bag crinkling was so loud, I barely heard her say “I like your hat.” To which I responded to, “thank you, I made it” as I wobbly navigated to a stop next to the sidewalk.

Then just like that in a moment of exchange we became appreciators of craft making. Right before my eyes, she unbuttoned her peacoat to reveal a talisman draping her neckline that she had made just the week prior. “I found the chain laying in the grass,” she said in what I finally heard as a London accent. “Isn’t it nice dear?” The pendant was round like the Moon with green emerald-like gemstones covering its cheese-holes. She smiled and asked me to guess her age. “Ooooh this is really a tough one”, I said wearily, “hmm.. maybe 65?”

She took a pause, put down her purse and did a yoga stretch, left to right and then touched her toes. “Honey, I am 87 years old.” She had a happy laugh, if there was one, this one was filled with joy. Having lost her husband a decade ago, she lives with her daughter in town. Not a twinkle in her eye lost, her life must have been a good one. I wanted this to be the end of the small, brief exchange. I did not feel like socializing that day. However she wanted me to come over her house sometime to see her craft work. I felt hesitant yet societally pressured to not refuse the kind gesture of an elderly woman.

What I thought of as I biked away from her is how I misjudged her. As I was waving good-bye, thoughts flared my mind realizing that some people are open to the possibilities of life, open to risk, to creativity and she did not even budge to question me, let alone hesitate when inviting me over her house. In an instant I felt as if there is a chance to feel equality, peace and hope in the world. She simply made me feel human, not asking where I am from, what I do and why I do it. Simply cause, I just was. Not many people can possess this quality and even more will not appreciate it when they see it.

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