15 March 2013

Yesterday was a pretty average day... until it wasn't.

If you read my last post, you know that on Thursdays I go to lunch club, then homework club, then make the 2 mile walk back to my house for a quick meal before BB. It turns out, however, that yesterday wasn't quite so average.

We had a few people missing at lunch club, so I switched up my regular seat at my regular table to balance it out a bit. The conversation I joined at the ladies' table was heartbreaking, as they talked about how it felt to get older and lose respect from their children (last Sunday was Mother's Day in the UK). Everyone just assumes that since their bodies are breaking down, so are their minds - and anyone who's ever met these ladies will know that is absolutely not the case!

Fast forward to my walk home. I remembered that tomorrow (today) is my day to provide treats for our staff meeting, so I popped into Tesco. As I'm ringing up, I see this older gentleman struggling to lift a basket from the pile. He is stooped over so far that he's practically bent in half, and he shuffles his crutches back and forth in an attempt to lift it. He asks my cashier to give him a plastic bag instead, since it is easier for him to carry. I asked him if it would be okay for me to get his items for him, so I leave my groceries at the front and begin to search for the items on his short list as the Tesco employees find him a chair. Everyone chips in to help me look for sesame seeds.

Once the list is complete, I ask him if there's anything else. He says that he likes to buy the bread on special to feed the birds, but if I have time to carry the basket he'll come with me. We shuffle slowly around the store, not finding bread but picking up sweets for his wife (because they're her favorite). He tells me his name (let's call him G), and that his back is sore from too many years with a pick ax in the garden. A feather could knock him over, he says. Just standing to speak with me, he often comes close to losing his balance. He's one of 13 siblings, and his brother died 3 weeks shy of his 102nd birthday (the Queen sent a letter for his 101st, the President of Ireland sent a check). Oh yeah, did I mention G was 92 years old?

I begin to wonder why G is shopping alone. Is he the strongest of the two of them? I wonder if he has children, or if he has fallen out with them in the same way as the ladies from lunch. If they're too busy to notice his struggle. He makes me miss my grandpa. I think of my recent conversation with my grandma, and how much she appreciates my mom coming by so often to visit. Does my mom even know? (OK, now you do.)

Sometimes, you meet people that just stick with you for one reason or another. For whatever reason, my short time with G was enough to know that I will never see the world in the same way again.

1 comment:

  1. The love you share is doubled. Bless you.