Sunday, May 15, 2016

Christmas in May

She was born on Christmas Day and she believes miracles happen every day of the week.

I met an elderly woman on Saturday morning standing on line at a local supermarket.

She was behind me and I heard her speaking—apparently to herself—as the cashier rang up her order.

“I don’t know how I’m going to get all this home,” she was saying. “I didn’t bring my cart.”

The woman was walking with a cane and clearly needed a hand. I was tired and in a hurry, as I was going to the theater with my sister and auntie that afternoon, but I didn’t want to leave this lady on her own.

I still have fresh memories of a very kind man who helped me during a recent airplane freak-out and my auntie has trouble walking, so the least I could do was help this lady with her bags.

As we walked the half-block down 75th Street to her apartment, she told me that she had moved to the neighborhood five years ago from Eighth Avenue.

“I’ve met so many wonderful people on this block,” she said.

She recently had a hip replacement and told me how happy she was now that her life was relatively pain-free. My aunt is concerned about needing a hip placement so that caught my interest.

“My doctor said, ‘Gloria, you’re doing great,’” she told me.

“Oh, my goodness,” I said, “my mother’s name was Gloria!”

“Tell your mother that I believe in miracles every day,” she said.

My mother has been gone for many years now, but I didn’t want to mention that. Meeting this woman was like a late Mother’s Day gift—to myself.

Eight Million Stories

Gloria told me was born on Christmas Day and later on that day I recalled an episode of the old crime show Naked City entitled “Hold for Gloria Christmas.”

I’m sorry, but that’s just the way my brain works.

The story concerns a drunken poet, portrayed by Burgess Meredith, who is murdered while trying to retrieve a collection of poems that he wants to send to the eponymous Gloria.

The episode aired in 1962 when Gloria and I were both much younger and New York was a much different place.
In addition to Meredith, the show includes appearances by Alan Alda, Herschel Bernardi, Jessica Walter, Richard Castellano, the acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Candace Hilligoss, star of the horror classic Carnival of Souls, and, hanging up in a newsstand, a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, which featured the debut of the Amazing Spiderman.

The comic sold for 12 cents back then, but a near-mint issue recently sold for over a million bucks. Amazing indeed.

The show is a bit dated, I suppose, but that’s such a minor issue considering the great cast and the fabulous location shots of old New York.

At the end of the episode—spoiler alert--we learn that Gloria Christmas doesn’t exist, that she’s a figment of the poet’s imagination.

My Gloria Christmas, on the other hand, is quite real and I’m very glad I met her.

“I call you my guardian angel,” she said, as we reached her door.

“Somebody recently helped me,” I said, “so I’m just passing it along.”

I walked home feeling quite good. I’m no angel but I’ll gladly help out if Spiderman is busy.


Ron said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story, Rob!!!!!

And you know, this story just goes to show how so many New Yorker's are kind, compassionate and helpful when help is needed. I've always said that New Yorker's are some of the most sincerely kind people I've ever met.

What I especially love about this story is how it's a prime example of "what goes around comes around" and how when we pay it forward, blessings just naturally circulate and come full circle.

"I walked home feeling quite good. I’m no angel but I’ll gladly help out if Spiderman is busy."

What a great ending!!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this moment, Rob!

And have a SUPERman week, buddy!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, what's going on?

Thanks so much for all the nice things you said here. I felt really good after helping this lady. I don't know if the "Naked City" reference made any sense, but it was in my head so I had to put it in the post.

And you're right--New Yorkers can be incredibly friendly. As long as we've had our coffee! :)

Have a most awesome week, buddy!

Bijoux said...

Rob, you really should consider publishing these NYC stories! This was a fantastic read!

valerie said...

that was so nice of you to help Gloria. That's a rarity today and she let you help, that's even rarer. most people would be afraid or think that someone is going to do them harm. glad you were able to be there for her. sweet!

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you, Valerie! I'm glad I was able to help her because it made me feel so good! And I'm glad she trusted me enough to let me walk her home.

Rob K said...

@Bijoux--Thank you so much! I am getting together some of my best posts and working them into a book. Wish me luck!

A Cuban In London said...

I wonder what sort of life she's had. Good on you for helping her out.

Greetings from London.

Rob K said...

Amazing, isn't? I'm sure she has a lot of stories to tell!