I am blessed. Truly blessed! Rarely does a day pass when I hear not a story of my Gwendolyn. Yes, I reminisce of my Gwendolyn during my morning calls with Stephanie and Rebecca. But for the purpose of this blog article, I write specifically of those brief encounters with humans who existed in the peripherals of our lives who starkly describe stories of my girl that I knew not existed. It is absolutely wonderful and reminds me that Gwendolyn touched so many lives. It happened thrice on yesterday.

The first is with Patrick at the grocery store. I met Patrick about one year ago. I was a TOTAL BITCH to him. Processing my JustEgg, Daiya pepperjack cheese, garlic, bag of rainbow carrots (for Gwendolyn), and no-sugar added Heinz ketchup at the self-checkout, I was running cut-throat to my schedule and had no time for “incompetence.” When my cheese registered as $1 more than advertised, I called to Patrick for a price adjustment. And he was slow, in my mind, in stating that he needed to verify with the advertised sign which so happened to be IN THE BACK OF THE STORE. I flipped out and said something nasty, storming to the back of the store myself to view the advertisement (I was the wrong hot head in this situation – wrong from the standpoint of mis-reading the sign and from the standpoint of being a bitch). I returned to the self-checkout in a haughty attitude, paid, and gave him a dirty look.

And I immediately felt terrible. Patrick was new to the self-checkout station, and he’s a spring chicken not. I realised that he was doing an amazing job, dealing with customers like me. So I wrote a customer review for him; and in that review, I apologised. I always write reviews because the attendants receive a $5 meal ticket. But in this case, I described about how kindly he treated me and how logically he treated me when I was a complete and utter nasty human. I WAS SO SORRY. On my next interaction with Patrick, there was forgiveness in his eyes and also gratitude. I deserved it not. But from that point forward, we became friendly; and apparently I showed to him a picture of my Gwendolyn. He, in turn, showed pictures of his dogs to me.

So to give this some perspective, yesterday morning, I had exactly two hours to kill before my first obligation, so I created the adventure of bringing Claudette to this grocery store. I wanted to introduce her to the produce guy who always commented on Gwendolyn’s rainbow carrot addiction, to Lisa at self-checkout, and to the manager at Starbucks. But when I realised it was Patrick instead of Lisa, I was slightly disappointed until he approached me with the biggest smile that I have ever seen. He said, “Is this Gwen?” OH MY GOD. Tears of happiness wanted to flood my eyes! I said, “How… how… how… did you know about my Gwendolyn?” He replied with details about the picture that I had once showed to him. And it came back to me suddenly that he had shown pictures of his dogs to me. He kindly reminded me of their names: Daisy and Charlie. And then I explained about my losing Gwendolyn and introduced him to Claudette.

And he replied!… “CLAUDETTE! LIKE CLAUDETTE COLBERT?!” OH MY GOSH! I said, “YES!!!!!!!!! Imitation of Life starring Claudette Colbert inspired this little girl’s name!” And he replied, “Oh that is a CLASSIC… much better than the other one!” Well colour me purple because how many times have I written about the 1934 version being superior to the 1959 version?!… and to have this information offered by Patrick at 7am on a Saturday?! What a lovely encounter. LOVELY. LOVELY! And it was all because of my Gwendolyn.

Two similar encounters about my Gwendolyn happened throughout the course of yesterday. Claudette inspires humans to tell these stories.

I am truly blessed.

The light in me recognises the light in you.