The kindness of strangers




Grandmom Lyn and William Richard Sterling born this week

The Morris’ recent  trip to Brooklyn was all about the birth of our second grand-son. Lyn and I took the train to NYC on the day before the planned delivery date. One day later, we welcomed into our lives, and hearts, William Richard Sterling, all boy at 8.5 pounds, 22 inches. Now our eldest grandson, Jackson John has a bud for life.

There was a full day separating the planned introduction of Jack with William. Lyn & I would care for Jack during this time. As with all really small children, Jack was going through a rough part of his growing stages: his Mommies wanted him to take shorter morning naps. On this day, Jack  cooperated well by not sleeping at all. He remained cranky and cried endlessly. We pulled out one of the usual methods to calm him down: a stroller ride through the neighborhood. I planned an hour long trip using strolling time and watching him sleep in a cafe.

I found a lively spot on 5th Avenue, Park Slope. As I rolled to the order counter, a lady offered a space at her table to me. I thought she might be leaving, but no, she was being polite.

My table mate was about 45 with one of those unidentifiable foreign accents. We drifted easily into a lively conversation. An example is she just met film producer, Ken Burns on the subway. Where else but New York?  Mr. Burns is knee deep in his latest project, but his next one is about the Vietnam War. He told my new friend it will be controversial. We both agreed anything written about Vietnam causes controversy.

At one point, I noticed an unusual ring and asked her about it. She said it was made from the small amount of jewelry her grandmother smuggled out of Europe when her family fled from the Nazis to Brazil.

At some point, the small jewelry was made into this lady’s ring. She never takes it off because it reminds her of her Nanna. Her voice softened as she told this story.

All good things must end, but this encounter ended with the best of news. William and his Mommies were on their way home, and I had about ten minutes to get Jackson back to the apartment. We exchanged warm farewells, and she helped get the stroller, and the still sleeping Jackson, past the door. I offered to pass along greetings to Ken Burns the next time if see him.

This blog is about special moments: hers and mine. On this day, she shared her memories, and I was able to wedge one in on an already crowded calendar.



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