I have been working as the program director for a senior center for the last eight weeks. Tomorrow is my last day. Today Bertha took me out to lunch.

I connected with Bertha immediately. Something about her rhythm, her smile, the way her mind works. She has a dry wit and a wonderful directness that makes her storytelling a hoot. Plus, she has a big heart and it is clear in her interactions with fellow members of the senior center. I also love the way she speaks so proudly of her three grown daughters.

So today she came to the center to “pick me up” for lunch. She handed me a shopping bag containing a gorgeous, lushly colored blanket she made. “To remember the center by,” she said. The tears appeared in my eyes in an instant. What a loving gesture. And I’ll be able to relive the feeling every time I wrap myself in it. She couldn’t have known how good her timing was.

We went to lunch and chatted. My herb and goat cheese omelette with brioche and fabulous strawberry preserves made the outing that much sweeter. I felt so blessed and appreciative to be in that moment with her. As we finished our coffee and got ready to leave, Bertha reached into her handbag and pulled out a mirror and lipstick. She apologized laughingly, but I smiled a broad smile. I was in my purse doing the same.

I know a kindred spirit when I spot one.