The Gift

By on October 24, 2017

The Gift
An elderly woman came into my store today.
Her spine was bent, so she could neither raise her head nor stand up straight.
She walked with a cane and her progress was slow as her feet lifted ever so slightly from the floor with each step. She told me, in a muffled voice that she needed shoes.
I joked with her and blankly smiled. While inside I lamented over all the things left undone and accepted grudgingly that I was going to be inconvenienced by her.
She sat on a bench, hunched forward in her eternal slump and took off her shoes.
I brought her several pairs with no real hope of finding a good fit, as her feet like her back were misshapen.
I handed her shoes, helped her take on and off endless pairs all the while watching her feet, thinking of myself, my head ache, my fatigue my, my, my… As I knelt beside her to help, I looked up at her face for the first time.
She was hunched and so kneeling was in fact the only way to see the shining eyes and bright smile she was wearing.
For a moment time stood still.
I looked into these beautiful eyes, lined with years of pain, knowledge, understanding and patience and A smile that reminded me that in that moment her need was not just shoes but respect, caring and time. I was suddenly humbled and honored to help her.
I was unable to help find her shoes.
But she was able to help me remember that my world is a gift of health and youth.
Her smile never wavered and my heart swelled with pleasure just being in her presence.
I needed the reminder that life is what we make of it, Not what we wish it were.

Kelly Stone