“And, Jada?!” this older white lady yells across the counter at the deli, “I’m done with that. I’ve given all that up; pastries, cakes, donuts, those sorts of things. I’m just doing fruit and water now.”
“Why’s that?” Jada replies as she approaches the counter, packaging the meat she’s just sliced for her.
“I’ve got to get these pounds off,” the lady quips as she playfully wriggles her hips.
Jada smiles, hands her the meat, leaning slightly across the counter. “I like your nails,” Jada remarks, “Did you just get them done?”
The older lady extends her hand in an exaggerated motion and says, “Yeah I wanted to be sassy but not too hussy.”
The lady’s name is Shirley. She is 86 years old, in Walmart, shopping, bursting with life.
A lot of that is due to people like Jada.
I know from experience that a lot of older people come to places like the gym and stores like Walmart because they’re lonely and to get social interaction.
I often say that “love is in the extra.”
Jada could have just done her job, but she went the extra mile, she made extra effort to connect with another human being which I know has an emotional cost. And, from what I can tell through her interaction with me is that she’d been doing it all the time. That takes a special person. It’s people like Jada that make our community and lives so much more enjoyable.
Jada could have just done her job, but I know her seemingly small kindnesses did more than any of us could imagine.
If you happen to be at Neighborhood Walmart on Market St. in Starkville, go to the deli, let her know she’s appreciated and tell her manager how awesome she is.