Today's rainy New England day brought two stories to share running the gamut of emotions. The first one is the happy one:
A gentleman came in who needed to take care of few things. As he was waiting, he asked me if he could bring his dog into the branch. I was a little leery of potential customer complaints. Hearing my hesitation, he assured me that his dog was a trained service dog and very well behaved. He left and came back with the biggest, shaggy golden retriever I've ever seen. The dog seemed massive to me, like a small tawny cow. Looking in his eyes, you could see that he was old and wise. I had to return to my office for a few minutes to help someone else and answer a few phone calls. When I looked up, I saw my customer in a lengthy talk with an older woman who seemed to be shaking her head. Deciding to intervene just in case, I approached only to see her drop to her knees and throw her arms around the dog, burying her face in his neck/mane. I backed away, so she could have her moment.
And now the sad one ... I did warn you:
A little old lady cashed in a sizable amount of savings bonds, and she asked to count the money in my office. It became clear that she wanted me there to observe her do so. She counted it several times, stacking and re-stacking the bundles. Afterwards, we started chatting about life, and she told me that she cashed them not because she needed the money, but because she was afraid that if she died suddenly they would be no good to her kids. This lead to her telling me about her husband's sudden and completely unexpected death at the beginning of the year. As she kept moving the little bundles around, she said to me, "Look at all this money. You know there was a time that I sent my daughter to the store to get some groceries. When she came home, she told me she'd lost the $5 change. Do you know what $5 meant to us 50 years ago. I screamed at her ... how could she be so careless? We walked back and forth for hours until we found it. That same year, I bought her a pair of mittens for $1. She lost them, and when she told me, I smacked her across the face. Can you believe that? I hit my daughter over $1. And now, look at this money." We sat there and stared at each other for a minute before we said our goodbyes. Thankfully, I did not cry in front of her.