It’s Monday morning. The president declared a state of emergency, and while getting ready for the day and a week full of uncertainties, my mind keeps wandering to one person. I’m thinking of M, wondering how she’s doing through all of this.
Last week I received a phone call:
“Gerda, you must come to get your stuff before Saturday. We’re closing down the business for good.”
“Okay…thanks I’ll come later today.”
That afternoon I reluctantly go to the laundromat to ‘get my stuff.’ She greets me at the door, her usual bubbly self.
We talk about odds and ends – both knowing the reason the laundromat is closing down. Turning to the door, I stop to look at her again, as if it is the last time.
After two years of making conversation once a week, M has become a lifeline. Whenever something happened, and she would not see me for a week, she would ask about my wellbeing on return. On weeks when I went to the laundromat and didn’t see her, I missed her presence.
She’s always full of compliments: “Hi, Gerda – looking good today!” I would return a compliment, and this became what we did, week after week: Two women from entirely different backgrounds encouraging each other, knowing that underneath, we are just human.
With the current economic state in our country, actually, globally, I’m sure that M did not start a new job today. With Corona is our midst, I’m pretty sure she will not have a job any time soon.
I hope I will see her again. I long for the day when I can hear her pronounce my name as only she can. Hopefully, there will come a day where we can talk about the latest shoe sale at some random store, and she asks for advice about her health. We can have a laugh because she heard the music I listen to on my radio.
I’m thinking of you, M. You’ve made more of an impact on me than you can ever imagine.
“Until we meet again, Gerda.”
I take my laundry and smile at her:
“Until we meet again, M.”