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Meeting Strangers in a Parking Lot After I Posted on Facebook

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Put yourself out there. You never know where it will lead.




Remember when it all shut down? Those first months in the spring of 2020, when we were asking if a bat spread it, or was it a clumsy chemist. When cars stayed parked, and the singsong of birds was louder than the continuous drone of traffic? Had those birds always been there?


Yes. Yes, they had.


Always looking for a silver lining, I am. The seemingly turned-up volume of our feathered friends was a welcomed phenomenon at the onset of the pandemic.


This must have been when Facebook communities became what they are today. I don’t remember being a part of a FB community before 2020. All of a sudden there seemed to be mom’s groups, my city had a group, and my street had a group. I could be wrong. Like everyone else, those days I had more time on my hands so maybe the extra time allowed me the time to discover.


I continued to go grocery shopping in person throughout those crazy days. It wasn’t rebellion, I just washed my hands well and then washed the cucumbers better. Man, the time spent washing the veggies and the fruit, then disinfecting the countertop, sink, and whatever else may have touched the thing that might be infected with the ‘thing’.


It’s comical/not comical now.


Only one person per household was allowed to go grocery shopping where we lived. That was no problem for us, our kids were in their late teens and early twenties. But it got me thinking about all the single moms out there who might not have someone to watch their kids while they went out to fill up their cupboards.


It was kind of far out there since the majority of the moms in my FB group didn’t have a clue who I was, but I put out a post to see if I could be of some help.


screenshot of original FB post offering to watch children of a single mom while she goes grocery shopping
Author's screenshot

People just wanted to help and that’s what the comments displayed.


Great idea. I can help too.

I can totally make myself available to look after your kids as well.


My family thought I was nuts. Who was going to leave a complete stranger alone with their kids? Fair. I’m not sure I would have. And I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d had no takers.


But I did.


Kezia got in touch with me asking if I could meet her at a local grocery store in a couple of days and sit with her 5-year-old daughter while she grabbed some necessities.

I was so glad I’d put out that post.


Two days later we met in the parking lot at a local grocery store. I was happy with whatever made both Kezia and her daughter Harper comfortable.


Well, Harper and I got on right away and so she sat in the back of my minivan and told me all about her favorite artists (J Lo and Pitbull LOL) and her favorite color (purple). We chatted and played I Spy over and over and over again.


Kezia, Harper and I smiling as we  sit in my minivan
Kezia, Harper and me in the minivan.

On a couple of our grocery meet-ups, Kezia would ask if we could also pop into the local liquor store. Absolutely. No judgment here, a glass of wine during covid’s lonely, lonely nights was probably a coping mechanism for a lot of us.

I had no idea that Kezia was struggling with alcoholism. I saw no signs, likely because we didn’t spend that much time together.

She was engaged to a wonderful man from Pennsylvania and was supposed to have moved there in the next couple of months but ‘the virus’ had squashed that plan. She could only hope and pray that she and Harper could get across the border sooner than what she was hearing from authorities.

Thankfully, by late November/early December Kezia and Harper got the green light to make their move. We were in touch sporadically after that. She got married and her hubby looks to be a generous and kind new father figure to Harper.

From the time she moved, I was following Kezia on Instagram. I thought her IG name odd: @thesoberelephantchronicles. I didn’t catch onto the ‘sober’ in her name, I just thought it was some trendy phrasing that I wasn’t hip to since I was at least 15 years her senior.

But after several posts I realized that she was a recovering alcoholic, using her account to encourage and build community. I’d aided her ‘need’ earlier that year when I’d drive her to the liquor store and then play games with her daughter in the back of the minivan.

I do believe it was a ‘need’ for her at the time.

Kezia’s strength to confront her alcoholism head-on, work her butt off to overcome it, and begin to claim the life that she desired made and makes me soooo proud!

Nothing that I did helped her to get sober but I’m just so thankful to know someone like her.

She is an inspiration and the life she is forging for her dear daughter must be her greatest motivation.

I started writing this piece a couple of days ago. I got in touch with a very pregnant (38 weeks) Kezia the same day to see how she was feeling and to get her thoughts on this article. They were all super excited to meet the baby. Kezia was feeling exhausted but healthy.

Before finishing up this article this morning, I hopped onto IG and saw that their little bundle had arrived early…surprise! His literal birth day is today.

Welcome Tristan, you landed in a good home.


 

To watch this dear family grow and thrive and walk bravely into their future has been such a privilege.

Kindness is an absolute necessity in every community across this globe of ours so go out and talk to strangers.

Reach out to your community.

You don’t have to make a ten-year commitment.

Maybe an offer posted today will make your life beyond full tomorrow.




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Jul 23, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beautiful story. I’m proud of you Julie! ❤️

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Thanks :)

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