Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chicago Saga, The Final Chapter: Old Friends

With our friend Mercy

On a whim, I decided I just had to stop at Whole Foods before leaving Chicago and driving home. Of course, I was really just procrastinating because I was already tired, and the thought of driving 3 hours and getting all of the sleeping kids into their beds by myself was a little overwhelming. On our way into the parking lot, I noticed short woman and a tall teenager walking along. I quickly recognized the woman as an old friend... Mercy.

I met Mercy when I was desperately trying to find a home daycare provider for my first baby so that I could go back to my teaching job. I almost never went to the interview with her because she did not speak English and had to find her daughter to translate for her on the telephone. However, when we went to the interview, we immediately knew that she was the perfect caretaker for our baby. I went on to recommend her to friends and acquaintances, and to occasionally translate for her with some of the other parents. We enjoyed each other's company and we even invited each other to our respective weddings (although she got in a car accident and didn't make it to ours). Anyway, Mercy watched our son until he was 3 years old, at which point I stopped teaching for 6 months after the birth of our second child. Our family then moved away from Chicago. At the time, Mercy was moving to a new house. We totally loss touch and have not seen each other for almost 5 years.

I quickly realized that the tall teenager was her son, who was a cute little 10 year-old last time we saw him. I wasn't sure if she would recognize me, since I've lost a lot of weight and my hair was waist-length last time she saw me. Mercy, on the other hand, looked exactly the same. I took a chance and hailed her. She immediately remembered us and was very excited. We talked for some time and she INSISTED that we come to her house and spend the night. She owns a two-flat, with a garden apartment and has 2 floors devoted just to daycare. She had several extra bedrooms. I resisted at first, but accepted her invitation. So, my husband took off to hang out with his friends and the kids and I went to Mercy's house.

What a gorgeous place! Mercy is a talented businesswoman. She has two assistants and a beautiful well-outfitted daycare. We got a wonderful tour and caught up on our lives. Mercy shared with me her health struggles with a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She insisted on knowing how my husband and I had lost all of our weight and looked so healthy. She was excited about the ideas I shared with her. In fact, she told me a story about how she cured her own breast cancer with herbal medicine 20 years ago. I wish my Spanish was better so that we could have conversed more in depth. I also wish I had some 80-10-10 resources in Spanish I could have shared with her. Mercy told me that she had just that day been praying to God to send her the help she needed to lose weight and take care of her health. She hugged me with tears in her eyes. I was a bit overwhelmed.

After a comfortable night in a lovely room, we shared a breakfast of watermelon with her and she gave the children lots of little gifts. We took some pictures and promised to keep in touch. I think of her often and hope that she is eating fruit and loving life.


Courtney said...

Marjorie, that is great! How wonderful to connect with and old friend! Isn't life funny sometimes?

You look great, by the way!


Anonymous said...

Marjorie, you look great! I love your hair! I just got Doug Graham's book in the mail. I will soon be as tiny as you and then I will have the same haircut! LoL! The less hair the better for me!

I have enjoyed all of your vacation stories, thanks for such entertaining writings!

Love and Light!

Anonymous said...

PS My daughter was just looking at your picture. She is my hairdresser and I was showing your cut. I also showed her your old picture with the baby on your back. She thought you looked like a different person! She thinks you look younger now. Your kids are also adorable, little raw babies! :-)

Greenmama said...

Hi Courtney and Connie,

You're so sweet to compliment me. I wish I was standing up straight in that picture. LOL!

I actually gave myself that haircut about 4 weeks ago. And it's finally starting to look good. LOL! Unfortunately, I don't know how to cut it this length. I just know how to shave it off and let it grow back until it finally looks right. Maybe I should save this picture and bring it to a real hairdresser next time.

Connie, enjoy the 80-10-10 book! I enjoy reading your blog--you are so talented! I would love to see some photos on it, too.

:), Marjorie

Anonymous said...

Tasha said definitely take a picture and take it to a hairdresser. That is the best way to get exactly what you want. I wish you were near us. We would trade you some haircuts for some help on the computer! LoL! I have not been able to put pictures on the blog. I am quite inept in that area! But I am determined, one day. I would love to share my lovely family with you guys!