Ribbons from Anna

Trying to find the motif in good deeds, I suddenly stumble upon this remarkable lineage that keeps me hooked on the stranger I confront.

In a small town where good deeds are accountable, I obsess about uncovering the hidden motives behind people's seemingly altruistic actions. I had become somewhat of a cynic, always searching for the ulterior motives or the hidden flaws in even the noblest gestures.

One day, while waiting for the bus on my daily commute, I noticed a stranger - a woman with an air of mystery about her. She was handing out sandwiches to the homeless people who gathered at the stand, her smile genuine and her demeanor warm. As I watched her interact, I couldn't help but wonder, what was she gaining from this act of kindness?

I approached her, my skepticism pricking at the back of my mind. "Excuse me," I said, "I couldn't help but notice you've been here every day, helping out. What's your story?" She turned to me with a gentle smile, her eyes holding a depth that seemed to defy explanation. "Oh, it's nothing special, really," she replied, her voice soft yet confident. "I just believe in doing what I can, to make a difference, no matter how small."

I could only smile back and continue to observe her over the next few days. Something bizarre and insignificant caught my attention that would soon consume my thoughts. Every day, without fail, she wore a different-colored ribbon around her ankle. It was a curious choice, one that seemed deliberate yet oddly random.

Intrigued, I decided to confront her again. This time, she smiled widely with a twinkle in her eyes. "Ah, you've noticed," she said, her voice tinged in mystery. "Each ribbon represents a different cause or struggle that's close to my heart. It's my way of raising awareness and showing support." Suddenly, my cynicism melted away, superseded by a newfound curiosity. Perhaps, hidden beneath her seemingly ordinary facade, there's a story waiting to be exhumed - one that would challenge my assumptions.

And so, with each passing day, I churned deeper into her world, unraveling the truth behind her enigmatic presence. Finally, what I found was far more extraordinary. A reminder that sometimes, the most profound tales lie hidden in the most unexpected places.

While selling their ancestral home, she found a bunch of diaries, each page marked by a story and a ribbon. On asking her grandmom and aunts, she learned that her great-great-grandmother, Anna, used to knit sweaters for prisoners. She then handed them over to her husband, who was a jailer at that time. He delivered them to the prisoners and came home with the story of the person to whom he gave the sweater. In turn, Anna would write the story on paper and tie it to a ribbon the same color as the gifted sweater.

As the woman shared her story with me, I felt a swell of astonishment. Here was a tale that transcended generations, woven with threads of compassion and resilience. She painted a vivid picture of Anna, who defied the constraints of her time to bring comfort to those in need - writing stories of confinement and efforts that made better people.

"It all started with my great-great-grandmother," she explained, her voice resonating with pride. "She was a knitter, you see, and yet every knit she completed carried a story of hope, of humanity and love." Anna's tale reminds us that even in the darkest corners, you can set the warmth of love.

As Anna handed over the sweaters to her husband, he, in turn, became a messenger of hope, traversing the corridors of prison and collecting the tales of redemption and resilience. Anna listened to his stories with bated breath, her heart overflowing with pride.

I couldn't help but marvel at the gift passed down through the generations, bound together by a shared sense of compassion and empathy. And in the woman standing before me, I saw echoes of her ancestors - the same unwavering dedication, the same tireless commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

At that moment, I realized that I had stumbled upon a legacy that would endure long after our encounter had ended, inspiring others to follow in the same footsteps and spread kindness wherever they went. The pages in the diaries and the ribbons will exhaust. It is the acts of goodness that will remain embossed in countless minds.

Wordart of ancestry

By: Joyeeta Mukherjee

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


Wow! What a beautiful story. So well written and it had my attention from the first line! Wonderful. Thank you. x
Samantha Thomas said…
A very sweet well written story, great little read.

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