It’s a wonderful life

There’s a lady in my neighborhood that walks around the block and waves when she sees me

I like her in a neighbor way

One night, she knocked on the door and I saw her scalp glistening under the porch light and the sweat making little streams down her face and she was carrying several sweating bags

She said in her quavery voice that her husband is a deacon at the church and they got produce and would I like a bag of carrots?  I said yes, thank you and as she handed me a bag of cold carrots, she asked hopefully if I wanted anymore because she had plenty of them

I said no thank you.  My mama taught me to never take more than I need, but she offered again, and again, I said, no, thank you.  She walked away in the darkness and I was stricken with guilt

A terrible, middle of the night guilt that wakes me up in a cold sweat

I should have taken all her bags of carrots and not allowed her cancer-stricken, frail kindness to walk all the way around the block in the dark with the sweat running down her face

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