The kind of people you meet while walking down the street is a series I’ll be hosting weekly on ordinary encounters with extraordinary people. These folks may be often or rather easily overlooked in todays bustling society,or perhaps always overlooked. They each graced me with their unique yet immeasurable magic and good-natured stories.
Mrs. Rosabelle Brown:
Mrs. Rosabelle Brown was a woman of hard work and true grit. She was independent and strong-willed. She believed she could do everything herself and so she did. She trimmed the tree in front yard once after being advised not too. Someone was arranging for a professional but the job was well done before help arrived. You may be thinking ‘big deal’ but she was well in her 80’s by then.
She sewed her own curtains, hemmed her own pants, re-caned her own dining chairs, and took impeccable care of her borderline yet beloved feral cat, Sammy. Rosabelle’s husband had passed away in the late 1980’s so Sammy was her closest companion, their relationship was a testament to the bond between humans and animals. Mrs. Brown was almost completely blind by the time we met her and she still did everything on her own with great enthusiasm and a ornery sense of humor.
She knew everything there was to know about recycling and living sustainably and had no problem letting you know if you weren’t doing the job quite right especially in the presence of her home. Even if she needed help she didn’t want it, she frightened but more so shocked us all with her resiliency to the challenges life had presented her.
Gardening was one of the works of her heart. Her backyard was as beautiful, vibrant, and as full of life as she was. Adorned in poppies, daffodils, fragrant rose bushes and so much more but not a weed in site. She would get on her hands and knees while feeling whatever grew beneath her, she knew the difference of a weed vs a plant by the touch of hand. Mrs. Rosabelle Brown loved the dawn of springtime as it meant good things for her garden even though she had a fair share of life-giving plants indoors as well like her pungent coffee tree.
My mom and I sat on the front steps of my Aunt Jacquie’s house one unusual warm spring day when we saw an elderly lady dressed in a trench coat, wearing a sunhat, and carrying a briefcase while gripping onto the nearest stop sign. Her body language suggested she could use help or direction. We approached this sweet, gentle woman who explained she was just trying to walk to the bank but it was further than she remembered.
We told her we could drive her home and could re-plan her adventure for another day. She lived one block from my Aunt’s home, once we arrived we had expected to turn around and leave but she indirectly invited us in for conversation. It quickly became evident that she was lonely and it had been years since the house had seen anyone but her and her cat.
She was around 90 when our life paths crossed and what began as an afternoon encounter turned into weekly visits and phone calls, doctors appointments, contacting her last known family member, Holiday meals spent with one another, emergencies, gardening, sewing, and life lessons.
My mom, myself, my Aunt. husband, and cousins befriended & helped Mrs. Brown, she became an irreplaceable member of our family. She seasoned our lives with a flavor only she could possess. Her spirit imprinted our hearts and blessed our lives with her direct, persnickety character and quick-witted intelligence. She lived life her way and by her own rules until the sassy age of 93.
These are the kind of people you meet while you’re walking down the street. . . . . . ♥
What encounters have you had that influenced your life?
Wishing you a wonderful daylight savings and full moon! It’s a marvelous night for a moondance, honey! ♥