The convenience store owner in his Yankees baseball cap, the mark of red on his forehead, tells her not to pay $2.50 ("too much!") for THE NEW YORK TIMES; buy another paper for $1.00. His Indian accented English is like soothing music in a most unlikely place, among lottery tickets, warm beer, cigarettes, Slim Jims, and candy. Tall, towering behind the counter, he reaches over and touches my mother's shoulder, "I haven't seen you in a while, Mum, are you okay?"
My mother says, "no, not really." I am in shock that she tells this man, but sugar coats it to family, long-time friends, and concerned neighbors. I tell him she was in the hospital because of her heart.
He instantly looks infinitely sad, then admonishes, "Not too much walking. You must rest." I laugh and tell him that's what her doctor said but she doesn't always listen.
He looks carefully at my face and declares, "You are the daughter. I see the same eyes. You both have kindness." And I looked at his eyes, through his glasses, and said, "so do you."