The first time I laid eyes on Pauline was in a large factory cafeteria. I was just a kid, just turned 18, alone and trying to survive in a strange town, never had a job before, a wallflower, shy, the whipping child from a toxic family. I was overwhelmed by the factory... a loud buzzer went off and your section was allowed a break. The buzzer sounded again and you had to be back in your seat ready to commence with your work. The next buzzer and it was lunch-time. 8:30 at night, but lunchtime all the same.
As I entered the cafeteria with my little brown bag of a peanut butter sandwich and a, now warm, soft drink, I looked around the room as if I might see an open space, certainly knowing there wasn't a soul there I knew.
From across the room, in a far off corner, a smiling, blonde lady caught my eye. She was smiling sweetly at me. And she motioned for me to join her at the table where she was eating her lunch.
A petite woman, about 45 or 50, with sparkling blue eyes and thinning blonde hair I later learned was being ruined by the chemicals she had to work with in her job. She smiled and introduced herself and the rest of the people sitting at the table, as if they even cared, but the warmth and acceptance I felt at that moment was a feeling I'd never experienced before and will always cherish.
Her name was Pauline and I was to meet her later in our lives and to share her death when it came. She taught me more about compassion in that single moment than I'd ever imagined I might know. I lost that job and never expected to cross paths with her again, but spirit has a way of touching our lives with the Angels that walk among us. To this day I make it MY business to welcome the stranger, to smile, to comfort, to include.
Thank you Pauline... I know you are smiling down on us every time I remember you and the compassion you gave a stranger who was at the edge.
Submitted by Anonymous
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