Joy in the Unexpected

Elderly Woman, B&W image by Chalmers Butterfield from Wikimedia Commons

I saw her across the room, sitting alone at a table.

  Her mind distracted as she gazed out the large lobby window that overlooked the garden on the hotel grounds.  Her hair cut short and permed, dyed an Irish red.  Her skin wrinkled by years gone by, a rosy hue adorned her cheeks.  A wonderful blue cardigan brought out the blue of her eyes and as I walked past her table I just had to say "hello".  

Her gaze moved from the garden and as our eyes met, she smiled.  As we chatted I discovered we both lived in the same state, not far from each other as a matter of fact.  She was spending the winter at the hotel so she did not have to upkeep her home during the cold winter months that often brought snow storms and power outages.  Her husband passed away several years ago and she had the opportunity to stay in a senior living home but she did not want to "spend her last years waiting to die", she wanted to live where there would be people to talk to, especially children for they brought so much joy to her heart. 

 So, she discovered that for a reduced fee, the hotel would allow her to stay the winter.  She told me how pleasant the staff was and how they looked out for her.  She pointed out the walking path on the hotel grounds that connected to several other areas where one could stretch their legs.  She told of a book store that she enjoyed frequenting that was just down the road a piece and how she had no need for a vehicle because the local shuttle would bring her anywhere within a two mile radius without charge.  Fortunately all of her needs were provided for in such a short distance = a grocery store, the book store, and a mall where she could people watch and walk on a rainy day.

In the short time we had connected I felt such a deep affection for her.  She was a fascinating, beautiful woman of ninety years old but her spirit was much younger.  My only regret is that I had not lingered longer, she was such a treasure.

When our time came to an end she tenderly touched my arm and thanked me for taking the time to stop and say "hi".  She said "it can get lonely at times, that's the hardest part, but when people like you stop, it brightens my day."  And to think... I almost ignored that still small voice tugging on my heart.  What a shame if I had not stopped, it was such a gift that was given to me to enjoy listening to the heart of another, the giving and receiving of love in such an unexpected way.

Life is made up of so many wonderful little moments like my experience above.  May you find joy in the most unexpected of ways today my dear readers.

With love,