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My Friend Missy

Corky Cummings


A few years ago I noticed a young lady who was working as a greeter at WalMart. She appeared to be very sweet, but I could tell she was mentally challenged, and I would quickly move around where she was stationed because the people who did talk to her couldn’t seem to get away. 

One day I thought there was no need to be in a rush, so I stopped to visit with her. She talked about a variety of things and none of them were related to each other. I loved her random thought process and I acted interested at whatever she felt was important to share. From that first chat I had with her, I knew I wanted to develop a friendship because she always amused me. 

It took Missy a few times to remember my name, but whenever I see her now, she lights up and immediately starts talking about what is going on in her life. She currently has boyfriend and brother issues and is really struggling with both. Her boyfriend had his cell phone taken away by his parents and her brother is “crazy as a loon” because he has two girlfriends, and he wants Missy to get in the middle of his relationships. She loves to talk about herself, and she values our friendship because I listen to her. I never know where she is headed verbally and how she got there, but it always makes me smile.

She recently was moved away from the front door, so whenever I go to WalMart now, I need to search for her in the store. When I do locate her, she is usually talking away with a customer while leaning on a large dust mop that she is supposed to be pushing. I never interrupt her conversation, but after waiting a few minutes, I will position myself so that she can see me. Whoever she was conversing with usually has a look like the cavalry just arrived because they are able to move on.

I saw Missy today and she had been given a new assignment as the dressing room attendant. It seemed a little overwhelming for her, but I’m sure she was happy to put the mop away. She was really excited to tell me about her 41st birthday on March 23rd and how she had bought some funny glasses to wear to the movies where she was going to celebrate with her friends. She then switched gears and told me that she needed to talk to her manager because she wanted to take March 30th off to visit a friend who doesn’t live in San Clemente (As I mentioned earlier, I never know what to expect.). 

My family has gotten to know Missy, and she always has a message she wants me to pass along to Patti or our grandkids. She is such a jewel and enjoys life to the fullest.  She loves that I make an effort to visit her, and I love to see the big smile she displays when she first sees me. I’m fortunate to have her as a friend and am glad that I took the time to say hello a few years ago. She brings humor into my life and we can all use a little more of that.