Saying good bye to an old friend

I remember it like it was yesterday. Angel was about 14 months (or so it felt) pregnant with John-Michael. We lived in a small apartment in Blacklick, and I was busy working as many hours as I possibly could at a local warehouse. And no matter how much I worked, the ends just never seemed to meet. It was before the divorce, before we welcomed JM and the other two boys into our house, and long before I ever heard of disaster restoration.

It is funny to look back on that time and remember the people who were in our lives everyday, and compare that list to today. With a couple of rock like exceptions, the names are entirely different now than they were then. And since I subscribe to the theory of a reason, a season, or a lifetime, I count myself lucky to have known those people who have since moved on, knowing their role in my life wasn't long term, but still very important. And I hope that feeling is reciprocated.

One particular lady we knew then was Mary Nutter. She was quiet as a church mouse but always had a smile on her face as she drove her cherry picker through the sea of racks at the warehouse I called my job. In her mid fifties, we often took our breaks together as we plowed our way through the third shift hours we were keeping then. She became a friend to Angel and I both, as she came to the baby shower and bought gifts for our new son. At one point Angel and I were really struggling, and she showed up at our door with a trunk full of groceries for our young family. In that moment she was our guardian Angel, and we couldn't thank her enough. I remember thinking how much it took for her to do that, especially when we knew she was barely getting by herself.

In time I left my job at that distribution center. When I severed ties there, I lost touch with all of my co-workers, including Mary. Angel and I had our boys, went through our ups and downs, and of course, divorced a couple of years ago. With all of the changes, it had been years since I had thought of my friend Mary.

As I watched the news last night, they began to speak about a woman who was walking in Lancaster, Ohio being struck and killed by a drunk driver. Mary Rose Nutter, they said, was pushing a grocery cart from Kroger's when she was hit. A sadness set in for me, and I was taken back to that day. I answered the door and there she was, grocery bags hanging on each arm from her elbow to her hand. Her brown reading glasses were at the end of her nose when she said "Hello Mike, I thought you all could use a little help". Just as they are now, my eyes began to well up with tears and I knew I would never forget that moment. Or this remarkable woman.

Rest in Peace Mary Nutter. And thank you, for being such a kind spirit and generous soul.

Good Night All........................


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