307/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Most people in the gratitude posts first hear of my gratitude via these posts but I was able to let today’s gratitudee know about what she did for me about a decade or so ago. I lived on Riverdale Drive when I was growing up and as I’ve mentioned many times, I didn’t have many friends as I was a fat, ethnic, geeky kid who was not comfortable in the skin I was in and I’m sure kids saw that weaknesses and went in for the kill. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in the house with books and television to avoid the verbal and physical abuse by some of the kids in the neighbourhood and when I would venture out, I would watch on the sidelines as I wasn’t invited to hang with anyone. There was a house on the corner of Riverdale and Coltsfoot that had an older girl and her siblings who lived there. They had a trampoline that all the neighbourhood kids would hang at. While I was in elementary and had to venture out that way, Roberta would always say hi to me. She was about 4 years my senior. She was beautiful in the eyes of this teenager. I guess it was because she was nice to me as well. She invited me a couple of times to hang out with the rest of the kids and those were the few times that I wasn’t made fun of because of this older girl. As I entered grade 8, I would walk by her house on the way home from school and she always waved and said hello. She acknowledged me – I wasn’t that invisible person or person to be pushed out of the way. That little gesture did so much for me. There were actually nice people out there. Unbeknownst to me, years later, her son was in my class and I saw Roberta again during parent teacher interviews. She was with her husband. She had no clue who I was but I totally remembered her. I told her during that teacher interview what she had done for me. She then remembered me but she didn’t recall going out of her way being nice to me and that’s exactly what it was – nothing for her but monumental for me. She shed a little tear that that little thing made a difference for me and I was so happy that I could tell her in person. People like Roberta made a difference for me and I hope that I am someone’s Roberta as well unknowingly.