Yesterday, I was in the store. An old lady hobbled down the isle. She was unsteadily holding onto the cart handle. She wanted to know if I knew where the toothpaste was. I did. I told her. We talked awhile. She was a sweet lady.
As she slowly headed to the toothpaste isle, she took out part of the deodorant display. I knew if she bent over to pick it up, she would probably loose her balance.
I told her, from half way back the isle, that I would get it. Don’t worry about it. I didn’t want her to fall. I then proceeded to walk her way.
She asked me how I knew her name. I was puzzled because I didn’t say a name. I asked her what her name is. She said Betty. I stopped in my tracks. Wow! That was my mother’s name, I told her. I bent down to pick up the deodorant she knocked over. She told me she needed toothpaste because she finally used the other tube. She needed batteries, too.
I saw her later with her son. He didn’t seem impatient, but, it was clear he was trying to keep her on track.
It’s amazing that these “old people” society is so quick to write off, were once thriving, fast moving people. They were at one point the ones in charge. She, at one point, was hauling that grown man around as a little boy. The roles have reversed.
I love when old people ask me where something is in the store. If they ask me to reach it for them, I feel glad to help. I know I probably am not/have not always patient with with my own parents.
Anyway, it struck me her name was Betty. My mother’s name. My brother used to take my mother to the store just like that guy. I miss my mother. I don’t miss the misery she was in at the end. There is that point when we cease quality of life, but God’s not ready for us just yet. We all know people like that. There is a lesson there. Maybe for them, maybe for us.