Sunday, May 3, 2009

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood...


For the last few years, I've been saying hello and goodbye to a little old filipino cleaning lady. I love old people, so I was immediately drawn to her. I've been calling her "Manang" for the last few years. Always small talk. 2 weeks ago she came up to my desk and said, "Ai, Anako, you did not work yesterday, no?" I replied, "No, Manang, how did you know?" Your rubbish can is no full of food. Your can is always full of food." Embarassing and sweet all at the same time.

Well, I finally found out that her name is Dorothy Villanueva. She told me Weds. afternoon... at the same time that she told me her last day was Thursday. I have ended many a shitty work day with her voice and smile. I'm going to miss her. But she's old and deserves to stop cleaing toilets and emptying rubbish cans. Mostly, I'm glad I'm not like many people who don't know the people in their building... in their neighberhood, until they're not there. Until you have that strange feeling something is really different. There wasn't alot I could do, I really don't know her at all. So, my co-worker and I sent her off with 50 bucks, a card and a hug. She left me with a picture and a lasting memory of her sweetness.

Get out there and notice the people you normally wouldn't notice. They sometimes have the greatest gifts waiting for you: like Dorothy making me smile at the end of a hard day.

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