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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Lose a customer, gain a customer.

Today was a day of ups and downs.

We have a neighborhood pediatrician who always suggests his patients and their parents come for an ice cream cone after a shot or blood draw. Only recently have his patients starting saying they were sent by him. A wonderful treat for the kids and for us as well–to be the anti-shot treat, what toddlers look forward to after a doctor’s visit.

Today I learned from one of his patients that this doctor specializes in russian and asian adoptions and that his is the first stop for many children on their way to their new home in Chicago. So being the place recommended by this doctor is even more special, becausee these toddlers are having ice cream at our shop instead of living at an orphanage in Moscow.

Later we found out that we also lost a customer. I’d been wondering where he went and thought it must have been a diet. Today his partner came in and we learned he’d quickly succumb to cancer in less than two months. The last time I saw him, he was in for a quart of sorbet–fresh from a long trip to the UK. Of course we compared notes and I envied his trip into the countryside. Today it was just his shell shocked partner of 7 years.

He stopped by to make sure we knew how much our store had been loved by him. What a thing to do during such a time of pain. It means a lot to work somewhere that effects people like that. And to be enough of someone’s life to feel part of their pain. I can’t understand what it is like, but my prayers are with those left behind and he who has passed.

At the end of the day, I stopped to take care of an elderly customer. She walked too far and got to our store before her blood sugar bottomed out. I quickly got her some ice water, frozen yogurt, and a couple butterscotch candies. She is battling going into assisted living, but she was also shaking worse than I’ve ever seen before. She is trying to last long enough on her own that she can move into the assisted living center on Irving and Western, so she won’t have to leave her neighborhood.

A pit stop, that is what we are sometimes. For celebration, for remembrance, and for safety.

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