With a heavy heart, I share the news that my superintendent, Mario, has passed away. He was the most loving little man. If you've been following along from the start, you might know how much he's done for me over these past 3 years. I wouldn't have been able to live by myself had it not been for him; he took care of me in so many ways. His kindness was the only reason I got this apartment in the first place. He helped me move in, he installed my air conditioner, he showed me what tools I needed to have for myself, he picked up my phone calls in the middle of the night when I would whisper, "there's a mouse. whatdoido?", he fixed my closet rod when it came crashing down...and he teased me about my shopping habits, he re-did an entire wall in my kitchen to prevent any critters getting in, he re-caulked my bathtub just because he wanted to, and he'd greet me on the sidewalk every single day with a, "G'morning, Virginia!" and a warm smile. More importantly, he was the reason I felt safe for all that time living alone. He was a God-send in my life... and I am so sad I will never have the chance to say that to him.
I came home to this wreath hanging outside tonight. The amount of people stopping by and saying, "you knew Mario, too? What a guy..." is incredibly moving. A woman who I had never met was taking pictures of the wreath and said she lives a few buildings down. She started crying and said she never knew Mario's name, but always saw him walking his dog and they would chat about their pets. I brought her inside and shared the funeral details with her. We stood there and just looked at each other and she grabbed my hand and said, "Thank you for being so kind. Life is so precious. Don't forget that." And with that, I broke. A stranger's kindness. It was the same feeling I felt the first day I met Mario and he showed me my new home -- a home and a building that has Mario's handiwork and love all in & around it. It's the kind of love that might feel small compared to other relationships and facets in life, but it's also the kind of love that has a great and lasting impact.
Mario always replied to me with, "Alright sweetheart." I hope he knows it was he who had the biggest, sweetest heart of all.
We will miss you very much, Super Mario. Thank you.
until next time,