This is a story that was originally posted Sept. 12, 2011. Maxine Loeffler (1924-2013) passed away on Friday at the age of 88.
There are still good people in this world, in all walks of life.
My mom is 87. Her name is Maxine and she's off the chart on the adorability scale. If you know her, you know. If you don't, you're missing out.
She's 61 inches of pure gold.
But physically, my mom has her issues. At times, she can move slower than a sun dial. She knows what she wants to do and where she's going, it just takes a while to get there.
My brother, Bruce, took our mom to St. Louis last week for a Cardinals game. This was a big endeavor for her, with all the travel and all the people. The Cardinals were playing the Brewers, not that it matters ... but actually, it does.
My mom was walking, slowly, with my brother on her elbow, around downtown St. Louis mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, prior to the Cardinals-Brewers game. They were getting ready to cross a street.
"A stranger walked up," said my mom, who's never bashful, "and I said to him, 'This is my son and he brought me to the city for an outing.' And (the stranger) said, 'He's a good son.' I told him I was ready to go back to the country, because I don't really like life in the city. It takes everything I've got to get across the street for the time they give you. Cars just go so fast."
The stranger said: "I'll help you. When the lights change, I'm going to walk on your right side, right by you. If they hit you, they'll have to hit me first, because I'll be by your side."
A heart-warming gesture, to be sure. But then there's this ...
"I had told him we were going to the ball game and we were going to root for the Cardinals," mom said. "He turned to me and said, 'Well, I'm pulling for the Milwaukee Brewers, because I'm a member of the team.'"
It was Brewers player Mark Kotsay, a solid veteran of the game, who was taking a walk around St. Louis and enjoying a beautiful day.
"There are some people who have compassion, no matter how important they feel," mom said. "I know he was thinking of his mother when he did this.
"That's a quality of good men, that they respect the elderly."
I have a new favorite player in Major League Baseball, and his first name isn't Albert.
Thank you, Mark.