Dear Mrs. Okuma

Remember when you used to visit us from across the street and ask to borrow some apples from our tree in the back yard?

I was 8 and you were 80… ish? I’m really sorry if I’m way off base there. My 8-year-old self had a hard time figuring out anyone over 30, you understand. All I knew is that you and Mr. Okuma were long since retired and super fun, you know, for old people.

I liked you a lot and I think that’s because you radiated tranquility. Your life was quiet and uneventful but still so full of energy. You seemed to just enjoy being who you were and you didn’t need riches or grand adventures to be fulfilled. You just needed to borrow some apples every once in a while.

We used to laugh about the whole borrowing thing, remember? How do you borrow apples? That’s crazy! I tried to explain it to my best friend once and she didn’t get it. That was cool, though, because I got it.

You’d always return the apples a few hours later in the form of a freshly baked pie. Sometimes you’d stay and have a slice but most times you would just hand it over with a warm smile and then walk back across the street.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but you were teaching my brother and me that there’s joy in creating and sharing, and that even the simplest of gestures can have a big impact. It took me a while, but now I get that too.

Thanks for being awesome. And thanks for the pie.

– snarks

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