Sweeter than perfume and freshly baked cookies,
Hugs so good the warmth would last for days on end.
A smile so bright it was only outdone by the sun,
Gentle, soft spoken, in the presence of love.
That was Mrs. Rumble, our next door neighbor when I was just a little girl. She was my "extra grandma", and I was her "sweet little girl". Now looking back, she had the patience of a saint, listening intently to a four year old and my endless gibberish, my thousands of questions about her life, her family who lived far away, her perfect white hair and how she knew how many marshmallows to make the hot chocolate taste just right. She'd knock on our door to check in on the young mother (my mom) with the most inquisitive little girl in our building, yes that would be me. She never grew tired of my boundless energy and often asked me about my adventures as a "big girl" now in preschool.
My favorite moments were during Christmas, when entering her apartment was like entering Santa's workshop itself. Her knack for decorating her tiny little one bedroom apartment better than Macy's Christmas display on 34th street was unbelievable. The little villages set up under the tree, with the tiny homes and ice skating figurines were my favorite. It was as if I was transported to another place and time.
That was Mrs. Rumble, no matter the season, the time of day, in her presence you were transported to a place of pure love; a truly genuine person, who loving reminded me of my "please and thank you's",
When circumstances caused our neighbors and my family in our tenement building to move away, it was a sad day indeed. Mrs. Rumble moved to a farm in the Mid West with one of her children, I was told.
Although she is long gone, her presence in my life a remains a lovely memory and I've been blessed to have her in my life. I thank God for her and all the other Mrs. Rumble-like people He's placed in my life since then; it serves as a reminder of the person I'd like to be.