I first met Little Mae when I worked in my grandma's Beauty salon years ago.
|Little Mae—Short In Stature—Large in Compassion
This is a story about a woman I knew briefly when I was a child; about the age of 11. Some considered her to be too common to acknowledge but in my mind she was one of the kindness, most generous woman I have ever met.
For sure she was a Christian. I will never forget her because she was the kind of person Jesus loved the most and that was due to her simplistic ways that showed love and decency to everyone she met.
I first met “Little Mae” in 1957. She was known by that name because she was so small, about four feet eight inches. Little Mae was a cleaning lady who used to come into my grandma’s beauty shop about once a month to get her hair done. She was a hard worker, a plain woman, who had no teeth and short, pudgy hard-working hands. Because she had no teeth, she mumbled and it was often difficult figuring out what she said.
With such strikes against her---her age, stature, no teeth and her lower working class image----one might think that she had next to nothing in this world to offer but that assumption would be wrong.
Whenever I helped Grandma at the shop; and especially when I helped Grandma with Little Mae such as setting and then combing her hair, at the end of the appointment Little Mae would draw me aside and give me a fifty-piece coin. In those days for a girl of my age—about 10, such an amount would be received as an unexpected treasure.
That silver coin would gleam in my hand and I began thinking of all the things I could do with it—like going to the movie—a quarter and then getting some popcorn and candy or buy a lot of cheap candy at the little store nearby.
It wasn’t just the money that made her, in my eyes, so different and kind. It was the fact that she had so little to give but was so generous and loving to me; a quiet, shy and at that time, a plain and ordinary, braces-on-my-teeth, kind of girl. Of all the clients my grandma had, and there were many, May gave the highest tip and along with that tip, a large dose of love.
Back in the 1950s and meeting such a poor but generous woman, I learned that love is not measured by how much money is given to another but by the love that comes inside of another. Little Mae, gave me an example of how to be as I grew up. By giving her best she instilled within me to give my very best. And so, some forty years later I pass on to anyone interested, the legacy and love of Little Mae.