During these strange and troubling and rather bizarre current times, I was momentarily brought into the reality of another human being’s suffering.
It was a small gesture on my part, but the moment of the Universe presented itself to me, something I could not simply ignore.
I could have gone on my way, to a dentist appointment, and not give a glance in the rear-view mirror.
But I did. And something had to happen.
You see, I was on my way to the Post Office, to drop off a letter in the box and, along the way, I saw this old woman struggling along the sidewalk. She had a cane, and her left leg was in a brace. I pegged her in her mid-eighties.
As I drove by her en route to the PO, I espied her predicament. Granted, the Post Office was a mere hundred yards away where she resided, at a Hampton Inn hotel. But after witnessing her struggle, I knew I had to help her.
Upon delivering my envelope in the yawning blue box, I backtracked and pulled into the Hampton parking lot. I got out and inquired if she needed help to get to the Post Office, offering a ride.
She asked if I was safe from Covid, and I inquired the same, and then I proceeded to help her into my truck, holding her arm, guiding her safely into my vehicle, two souls complete strangers.
I drove to the Post Office and helped her get out of the truck, guided her up the ramp and into to the store. She laboriously filled out a form, as she needed to post something for next-day delivery. The clerk informed her it would cost $26.75, and the woman balked, clearly distressed that it would cost so much. The clerk then informed her that if she wanted 2-day delivery, it would cost $7.75. The old woman agreed.
As she had to fill out a different form, I took out my credit card and paid the amount for her. She looked up at me and said, “Heaven still sends me angels.”
On the way back, she informed me that she was homeless, that her landlord had kicked her out of her house, and now she resided within the walls of the hotel.
I helped her back into my truck, drove her back, and helped her to the front door. She thanked me profusely, but that was not I wanted at all. I kept thinking that if it was my own mother, who is 82 years old, how I would do the same.
This poor woman, homeless, and living in a hotel, struggling to walk one hundred yards to the Post Office, how can one not offer help?
After I dropped her off and, on my way to the dentist, I thought about how lucky I am; a fine, healthy family at home, a roaring wood stove keeping us warm, a bounty of wonderful gift cards for Christmas, and a roof over our heads that we call home.
I am grateful for all that we have. The very least I could do was to be that Samaritan and help out this unfortunate soul.
As I led her to the front door, I bid her a better new year. She said, “God bless you, Son, and thank you.”
Along the byways to my appointment, I held tears in check, thinking about if my own dear mother was in such dire straits.
I hope that all who read my words think twice when passing an elderly person. They may appear stoic, self-sufficient, but you never know.
Pause. Take a break from your own life. You never know what will happen.
By the way, her name was Barbara. She wore a full length pink suede coat and jeans, with sneakers.
Barbara, I wish you well. Take care.
Copyright, 2021, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.