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Today’s Blog was going to be a “Draft Day” post, but to be honest, my head wasn’t in the game. So I thought I’d share a story from today.

But first some Backstory

I used to work with a woman named Patty. I can share her name here, cause reasons. Patty was, well, you know how people say, “Older people are set in their ways”? Well, Patty knew what she would tolerate and what she wouldn’t. Patty had good and bad qualities, as we all do.

Patty, once she learned that I had a degree in education, wanted me to get back into teaching. This was when I wasn’t so far removed from the profession that it would be like teaching a caveman how to twitter. She even provided a reference for me, for the single solitary time I interviewed for a teaching position (we all know how that worked out). Also, Patty was a teacher before she worked in retail.

Whatever Patty may or may not have been, she had a big heart when she opened it up to people. If she liked you, you knew it. Sometimes.

Anywho

I was doing some price changes retail related tasks when I heard a voice. “There she is.” I turned my head to see not one but two former coworkers. Lets call them Mildred Lane and Opal. If you know who I’m talking about that could be hilarious. Anyway, apparently these two were out and about running errands. If this is what retired former retail coworkers do then sign me up.

Anyway, Mildred Lane was talking about me when she’d said, “There she is.” Mildred Lane, who is Patty’s twin sister, had retired about a year ago because an injury that wouldn’t quite heal, I think. Opal, I think, had just had enough of Retail Establishment’s nonsense, and had retired about the same time.

Mildred Lane had something for me. She had found it when going through Patty’s things. You see, Patty, had always been kind of quiet about anything she was really struggling with, health wise. I think she was just raised to not talk about things like that. But after retiring (she retired a few years before these two had) her health went downhill quickly. I don’t know the details, but she passed last year.

While I wasn’t super close with Patty, and some of my memories of her weren’t always positive, there is one thing I will absolutely never forget about Patty. She LOVED my baby. She was so happy for me when I found out I was pregnant, she got us baby shower gifts, and she even got The Kid gifts for Christmas. One of her favorite books, “The Night Before Christmas” is from Patty.

One Christmas, during my first polymer clay phase, I made Patty this cat, modeled after what I thought her beloved cat looked like. He looks a little like a child made him but by golly I thought it looked good. And Patty seemed to like it.

But I knew what this thing was that Mildred Lane had for me. She’d been in the store just a short while after Patty passed. She told me she found this thing she had for me and needed to bring it to me.

And here she was, handing me a blue grocery bag with what I knew was a picture of my baby. Literally, a picture of baby The Kid. In a frame.

Baby The Kid, circa 1,000 years ago. In a Snow White dress. I still have that somewhere.

I remember the day the picture was taken, vaguely. I remember Patty asked me if she could take her picture, and she then proceeded to take it to the photo center and have a copy printed off. She’d told me she was going to frame it.

Now, I realize to an outsider this might sound kinda creepy. But at this stage I had known and worked closely with Patty for the better part of five years or more. She went from being someone I was a bit intimidated by (literally everyone for me for a long time) to someone “you just need to know how to handle”.

But the fact that Patty had a picture of my kid, framed, in her home, well, I think it would make anyone feel good to know that someone you know loves your child.

I told The Kid about someone bringing me something, and I showed her that it was the picture. She got a little emotional, I think. Even though she probably doesn’t remember Patty much, I have told her about her before. She said exactly what I knew she’d say. “I’m going to keep it in my room!” And she did. It is by her bed as she sleeps right now. HOLY CRAP ITS ALMOST MIDNIGHT.

Turned things around, a little.

I had been having a bad day. I had a bad day yesterday, and today had been shaping up to be about the same. This is both all my fault and not at all my fault. But when someone brought me a framed picture of my own child, a picture that someone chose to display and possibly look upon daily, well then, that pushed my day gently in the opposite direction.

I mean, it still sucked. But, slightly less.


Thanks for Reading.

-c