Sunday, December 9, 2012

Open Mouth. Change Feet.

Swaddled in a big winter coat, hat and scarf, she was a slo-mo video of ambulation:
Left foot planted,
Right foot dragged up to match,
Cane moved forward,
Contracted right arm frozen in place across her middle.

Breath.

Again.

Breath.

Again.

Breath.

Progress was painfully slow and discouraging to watch.  Wouldn't a wheelchair, or better yet, an electric scooter be a much better option, I asked myself?  But then, I didn't know this Determined-to-be-ABLE lady.  I came alongside to see if she needed assistance.

"No thanks.  I'm almost there," she said.

I pulled back her hat a smidge off her brow so her eyes were clear of the brim.  Man!  She could barely see where she was going.

We stepped-paused-stepped in sync for a bit, until a gentleman came up and said, "Oh, there you are!"

"Is this your mother," I asked, giving him my most winning smile?

He made a noise somewhere between a choke and a gasp.  "She's too young to be my mother.  She's my wife and I am older than she is."

G R O A N.

Floor, please swallow me whole.  I'm dying, or want to be.  A classic example of assumptions made, not looking beyond the immediately obvious, to see the real person in front of me.  Is there forgiveness for even this????


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