08 June 2016

The crazy cat lady among other things

Much like Lisa, TMFKATB and his companion went
running from the crazy cat lady too
Due to a slew of meetings earlier this week, Preparation Day, or this week's day off, for TMFKATB did not fall until today. I will tell you right now that it was worth the wait. This week's letter was one of the best we've gotten from him in his nearly two years of service in Mexico and behind the Zion Curtain.

For one, and this made my English major's heart, dare I say it, swell, it was full of detail around what he was feeling during the week. As I read his letter, I felt the emotion he must have felt as he wrote it. I felt especially close to my son today and that was a tremendous feeling. Secondly, he talked a great deal about the love he has for the things he has been taught. His gratitude and love for his Savior was abundantly evident. Those are beautiful things to read.

At the same time, he's still The Boy. I laughed out loud as he briefly recounted their run-in meeting with the crazy cat lady in, wait for it, the trailer park (didn't see that coming, did you?).  He wrote:

We have met some interesting people. We met some psycho lady who
ran us off her porch. She had no teeth and a thousand cats.
I think she tried to cast a spell on us.

'Been there, done that,' I thought as I read this. The run-in with the crazy cat lady is a rite of passage for any Mormon missionary, I think. It doesn't matter where you serve, you're going to run into the local version of the crazy cat lady. My first run-in, because there were many (because Florida), happened in my first area in Hialeah, Dade County's capitol of all that is not right. We didn't run into her knocking doors. She literally ran into us. As my companion and I rode our bikes toward our apartment, we passed a series of two-story apartment buildings with six or eight units that dot much of the landscape of Hialeah. In the mid-80's, they were Ground Zero for the Marielitos. So working those buildings was like playing a supremely twisted version of "Let's Make A Deal." You really did not want to know what was behind Door #3. Trust me. As we passed one of those fun houses, she burst out of nowhere, bolting at us screaming and flailing in a way that in any other neighborhood would have brought multiple calls to 9-1-1. Not Hialeah. Convinced her ravings were curses (because Santeria), we did all we could to veer around her. The old men sitting in front of the building, chain smoking their cigars, just kept yelling, "Ay la loca!" and laughing. They weren't paying her much attention. We'd continue to run into her. She liked to surprise us, often bursting out of nowhere like she did the first time. She once hollered at us from her balcony but even in my limited knowledge of Spanish at that point, I knew she wasn't inviting us over for dinner. Suffice to say, we never worked her building.

It's probably been thirty one years since I last saw her. TMFAKTB's letter and the memory it triggered make it seem like yesterday. Given what I saw during my last two trips to Hialeah, one just last month, methinks she may still be there, bursting out of nowhere and surprising / scaring pretty much anybody. Good for her.

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