As I grew up in the Cincinnati burbs, I was fond of LaRosa’s, a local pizza chain that is part of the fabric of the area. The chain is known for its support of local sports (especially on the high school level), but also for having really good food. When Mrs. M and I lived in the area in the 90s, we spent a fair amount of our very limited entertainment budget on meals at the nearest LaRosa’s location.
As you might guess, today had its challenges. I went to Michael’s sentencing this afternoon. I read a statement I had written last week, and listened to a statement from his daughter. The judge then announced that he was following the jury’s recommendation, and sentenced my brother to two life sentences without benefit of parole. Afterwards, I called Mrs. M, went to the hotel room to change clothes, and drove to my local LaRosa’s for dinner.
I guess I looked tired, because my waitress was particularly solicitous. “Thanks,” I said. “It’s been a hard day.” She asked why, and I told her, and watched as she disappeared to get my check and a box for the leftover pizza. But when she came back, all she had was the box.
“Your dinner’s on the house tonight.”
“You don’t have to do that!” But she said they wanted to do that, and they weren’t taking my money tonight. I thanked them, left a tip, and came back to my hotel, where I’m typing this.
I’m grateful for kindness on difficult days, and for neighbors — even if I don’t live here anymore.