Hope was one of the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure to know. On a work release program from a prison, she had spent 25 years in the slammer for ax murdering her husband. I was terrified of this cold blooded killer who I was now responsible for directing. My protests fell upon
silent ears as upper management wouldn’t discuss it.
I stood up to introduce myself and shook her hand
the first time she walked into my office. I pasted on a smile and tried to pretend I wasn’t intimidated by her. She spent more time looking at her shoes than she did at me. She was very soft spoken and shy. I offered her a piece of candy out of the jar on my desk and she took out a piece of hard candy, thanked me and put it in her pocket. That became the routine each day for the next five years.
As time went on I learned a lot about Hope, including why she murdered her husband. He was a brutal man who beat her on a regular basis. One day while they were out chopping wood he was drunk and started beating her. She’d had enough and gave him what he had coming. She said if they had been hanging pictures she would have used a hammer and if they were cooking in the kitchen she would have used a knife, it just so happened that she was holding an ax at the time. She wasn’t sorry about it either. I didn’t approve of what she did but I had a better understanding after that and I was not longer afraid of her.
One day during a management meeting we were
informed that there was a problem in the warehouse with mice. We were all told to be on the lookout and to report any findings to the proper people. Three
weeks later, when the warehouse was empty and everyone had gone home for the day; I discovered what was attracting the mice. In a corner of the warehouse, near a shipping door, Hope had set up shop. She had a spare pair of shoes, an extra change of cloths and pictures hanging on cardboard boxes.
It was the spot where she ate her lunch every day and where she threw her coat in the cool mornings. I tried to move one of the boxes in the area with my foot but it was too heavy.
Inside the box was candy, one piece per day for five years. Hope had kept every single piece of candy that she took out of my jar and I suppose candy from other people’s jars too. I dumped the large box of candy into the trash compactor and never spoke a word about it to anyone. The mouse problem stopped. Hope never once asked me about the candy.
The next time I saw her she took a piece of candy
out of my jar, unwrapped it and winked as she put it in her mouth. I later learned that hoarding food is common among people that are in prison.
This story is to be continued as I have another memory that I would like to share tomorrow. I think it’s important that everyone has a little Hope in their lives.
British Word of the Day – Nut
It’s not what you think at all. If you were to nut someone you would be head butting them. In a sentence it might go something like this. “He walked over to my table, I gave him a nut in the head and Bob’s your uncle!” I hear nutting is quite common during football games.
Happy Tuesday passengers, do something wonderful today!