This morning was no different than any other. Set my alarm to wake up early, snoozed for about an hour, got up at the normal time, showered, had a cup of coffee, got dressed, made lunch and walked out the door, late as usual.
So far, so good.
Headphones in, sunglasses on, new shoes on my feet with the sun warming the streets, things were looking good so far.
As I rounded the corner half a block from my apt, I was waved down by this adorable old lady sitting in a wheel chair asking for a chauffeur, without hesitation, I grabbed the handles, and we were cruising the streets of the Upper East Side. I've seen this woman a lot, sitting outside of her apt building in her wheel chair, greeting everyone as they passed. Whether they reciprocated or not that smile never left her face.
"Tomorrow is my birthday!" she said as she turned to look at me. It's so refreshing that at her age she was genuinely excited about her birthday. "And how young will you be tomorrow?" I asked. "101 years old" followed immediately by a school girl giggle.
This woman had no idea how happy she was making me.
As we turned the corner I realized I was cruising a little too fast for my liking. My NYC strut was a little too high speed and to be honest, I really didn't want this short adventure to end just yet, we were just getting started. I tapped the breaks a bit, walked a little slower and asked more questions. 38 years she's been living in NYC with her sister, a former NYC police officer, that lives just across town in the Upper West Side. When asked if she sees her often she replied with "No, but we talk on the phone all the time" The questions kept rolling. She asked me if I had a family, am I a native New Yorker and am I happy?
No, yes, and as of right now I am definitely happy, thanks to you my new friend.
As we approached her front door she said the people in her building were throwing her a birthday party tomorrow, "They're so good to me here" I smiled and said "They better be!"
The doorman approached smiling and said "Hey, where did you run off to?" Without hesitation she replied, "I had to stretch my legs"
We shook hands, said our goodbyes and I wished her the happiest of birthdays.
She was my breath of fresh air this morning.