As always, she had been heartened to hear stories of people doing good. She described one teen-aged girl who has been very depressed. She joined a local theater group that helped her significantly. The group had been raising funds for a trip for months when she joined it. The young lady’s family did not have the money to pay for the trip so two other members gave their funds to her to cover the cost. Obviously, that brightened her day.
She also met the Gable family and learned about their Gable Heartbeats non-profit. Michelle Gable shared how she lost her husband, Mike, at the age of 38 from heart disease that had not been diagnosed. When their 11-month-old daughter, Grace, started coughing, Michelle took her for a medical exam and discovered she had the same disease that took her dad. Fortunately, it was caught early and she’s now a healthy, vibrant teen-ager.
Their group provides EKG and Echocardiogram free of charge in schools and also places defib units. This school year, Mary learned, nine students have been diagnosed with heart issues.
After visiting with people at Inklings, Mary spoke to the Rotary Club of Pleasanton. Rotarians passed the hat and collected nearly $500 to help with gas and expenses. And Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation, invited her to bring her well-used Subaru by his shop for a complete tune-up, brake job and whatever else was necessary.
Mary told me she hadn’t felt so good about her car since she started her journey in 2016.
One other highlight: Her journey started when a co-worker in New York told her about a gentleman buying gift cards at a Starbucks. His last card was $100, which he told the barista to run out serving people in line free coffees.
When her hostess in Pleasanton, Kristin Werder, was buying coffee Thursday morning at Inklings, she left a Ben Franklin ($100) to take care of the next people in the line. To say it touched Mary would be quite the understatement as she told me the Pleasanton stay seemed to be about blessing her.
She headed into San Francisco Easter Sunday and then was off to Sparks, NV, Sacramento and Redding before turning north to Oregon and Washington.
A wedding photographer by trade, she’ll return home in June for that busy month of shoots.