Repost from October of 2012

She appeared very stoic… Maybe grouchy would be more applicable, but I understood, sort of, where she was coming from… or going to I should say… She was walking up the sidewalk to the place I was just leaving. I hate going there too. Maybe because she’s older she already knows what I’m beginning to figure out?

I suspect the elderly lady that was wearing the winter looking dress in the middle of summer in Arizona has realized after a certain age you cover up to protect yourself from the sun and you don’t leave the dermatologist’s office without pain… Silly me was thinking I’d get a clean bill of health that day. I could almost hear the doctor saying, “It all looks good!” – “See ya’ next time!” I’d smile, thank him graciously and walk light-footed out of his office… maybe even whistling.

pain to remember

The elderly lady probably knew she’d hear the doctor say the same thing to her as he did to me, “Hmmmm… This is pre-cancerous… We’d better take care of this now…” then the pain to remember starts. The grouchy lady has probably heard the same words the doctor shared with me next, “Yeah, that’s not good… too dark… I need to cut that off too.” Great – more pain…

The grouchy gal might have had a knife and freezing equipment that burns like fire used on her more times than I have… I didn’t blame her for the dirty look as I stepped off the sidewalk in front of her to give her the full use of it. The senior lady had that look of a permanent scowl on her face, even with someone showing her respect.

I really didn’t give the grouchy lady too much thought until after I passed her in the rocks and was half way across the parking lot, I heard a loud slap of a hard plastic type of material hitting the ground followed by a startling thud – the sound of flesh and bones hitting concrete.

I quickly turned back around to find the elderly lady on the ground struggling to get up. “Are you alright?” I asked in a loud voice as I started to jog toward her. “Oh – I’m fine!” she answered pleasantly, visibly embarrassed. “Are you sure?” I pressed. “Oh yes – I’m okay!” she was pulling herself to her feet as quickly as possible. I knew she was more embarrassed than anything else as the doctor’s office doors burst open and a couple of nurses ran out to help.

As I studied the older lady’s face while she was still on the ground, a revelation hit me… She looked completely different than she did just seconds before. Not more than five or six seconds previous, she was sporting an experienced scowl on her face, but at the moment I saw her with her long dress gathered about her and she spoke to me, I saw something much different. I saw a beautiful person, regardless of age, she had that look of the innocence of childhood.

She was appreciative of my potential chivalry, it showed in her warm eyes. I wondered if all of us are a little like that lady; taking the magic of life for granted. We too often let it rob our innocence because we’ve seen the act and gift of a day so often. Funny thing… I couldn’t feel a thing that was bleeding and covered in bandages on me while tending to her.

I guess we both found some innocence that day…