There are two little events from my life that have been on my mind lately. I don’t know why, after all these years, these memories have bubbled to the surface, but here they are, so I may as well share them. (Boy that was a lot of commas. Four commas in a single sentence is probably three too many.) Anyway.
The two stories are not related.
I was grocery shopping and noticed a severely disabled young woman in a wheelchair being pushed by (I presume) her mother. The daughter was emaciated and had sort of a wild, overstimulated look in her eyes.
As I passed by she reached and grabbed ahold of my arm. Her grip was surprisingly strong, and she did not let go.
Her mother immediately began sputtering and offering apologies. “I’m so sorry! She doesn’t mean any harm!” She thought I’d be angry.
You should know that my hair reaches to my belt, and my beard nearly does. I looked at the mother and said, “Do I look like the sort of person who is troubled by unconventional behavior?”
I have no idea why it came out that way. I don’t typically talk like a character from a Dicken’s novel. It struck me as funny, and I started to laugh. The girl started to laugh, too. The mother’s face relaxed, but just a little.
And this is the part I think was divinely inspired, because it was such a physical non-sequitur: I clapped my hands. And the daughter let go of my arm and, still smiling, clapped her hands.
And I touched her cheek and went on with my shopping.
The woman who lived across the street from me came down with cancer, and the chemotherapy weakened her so much it became a real struggle for her to walk to the curb and get her newspaper. I noticed, and started bringing the paper from the curb to her doorstep every morning.
One time she met me at the door and said, “Oh, you’re so sweet to me! I’m going to bake you a pie!” But she had lived in East Texas all of her life, so she pronounced it “pah.” “I’m going to bake you a pah!”
She didn’t have the energy to bake me a pie. But she made her sister go to the bakery, buy one, and deliver it to me. 🙂