My mom is one of the most independent seniors I know.
She’s swiftly approaching the big “80”, but if you met her, you’d never guess it. Within five minutes in her presence, you’d discern she is resolutely confident, vastly intelligent and noticeably active for a woman of her years. I often think of her as invincible.
Then “yesterday” happened. For the first time ever, she fainted. I shudder at the mere thought of it.
It startled her as well – more so, in fact. For someone accustomed to being in control, that moment of public vulnerability terrified her. Thankfully, today she is relatively ok and receiving excellent care at an area hospital.
This is not a blog post about my mom as much as it is about Kansas City.
See, her episode occurred at a local Sunfresh grocery store. Immediately after it happened, from what I understand, several people quickly ran to her aid. A particular couple was especially caring and concerned.
They helped mom to her feet, picked up her belongings and stayed with her until she got her bearings. Let me re-phrase that. Not only did they stay with her, but, in full Kansas City spirit, they went the extra mile. They actually followed her home to ensure her safe arrival.
Yes. I’m fighting back tears as I type this.
In this day of “rush rush ” lifestyles and busy schedules, wasn’t their attentiveness surprising?
I know, right?!!!!
But, then again it is not all that shocking?
Not if you know Kansas City.
Kansas City has an undercurrent of warmth and kindheartedness reminiscent of a cozy, friendly, small town.
At the same time, it offers many of the amenities of a much larger city. Not to mention a mayor that will say “hey” to you on the street.
I love Mayor Sly James!
Or a congressman you can bump into at the Starbucks on Main.
I also love Emanuel Cleaver!
Don’t get me started about the late William C. Nelson, my first employer and friend. The amazing clergy also make Kansas City special to me, people like John Modest Miles, Sister Berta, Charles Briscoe and my wonderful husband, John L. Brooks. I could go on and on. But, this blog post is not about these people either. It’s about Kansas City.
I must admit, I forgot that I love living here. It is a city with a heart that beats for it’s people. Don’t believe me? Try walking the Country Club Plaza and count how long it takes before you see a smiling face or a head nod. I guarantee before you know it, you’ll bump into people like the ones who helped my mom.
You know, I wish I knew who they were. All I know is they were a Latino couple with great big hearts of gold.
If I could meet them, I would hug them with every cell of my being and tell them “Thank you”, not only for helping my mom, but also for reflecting the heartbeat of Kansas City and reminding me why I stayed here.