There are a close group of friends who gather at this Florida condo complex year after year. Together they face tough times in life, like illnesses and loss. They also find ways to celebrate each day anew and laugh together day after day. Each set of parents has family members come and go. When the visiting families leave and say our goodbyes, it is always with a promise of seeing them next year.
This year there was big news. A lady has moved in and she has a pet rabbit. This rabbit is reaching celebrity status around the pool area and when I met her for the first time, I said, “Oh, yes I have heard about your rabbit.” She was at that moment the rabbit lady. Ah, but not really.
A few minutes after our quick introduction she came back over to our chairs and handed my friend a stack of cookies wrapped in a paper towel. The cookies were warm out of the oven. We thanked her repeatedly almost shocked by her thoughtfulness after all we had just met her. Later we left the pool and when we returned, everyone was thanking her for cookies. She was sharing cookies with everyone. And there on our chair sat a new stack of cookies! We thanked her again and she was tickled that we had truly enjoyed her gift. We continued to talk. She shared about her mother country, her feeling about America, how she raised her children and much more.
In the middle of our conversation it began to rain. We all moved to a covered spot where she stretched her feet into the rain proclaiming the beauty of the rain. She explained that she was an attorney in the Ukraine but here in America she went to culinary school, but never had the opportunity to use that degree officially. So, she bakes when she wants to and shares her talents with everyone around her. Then she promised us a warm chocolate volcano for tomorrow. Of course we said that was not necessary but she insisted and said we wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight thinking of her chocolate dessert. At the end of our visit she finally she shared the biggest truth – she strives to make others happy because that is where her happiness lies.
Rabbit lady, sure, her pet is bringing much happiness to the elderly residents here, but hardly the right name for her. I think she is the happiness lady, the lady who spreads happiness, one cookie at a time.