Friday, November 20, 2009

The Old Man

Yesterday as I was backing out of my driveway and looked both ways and there was a man getting ready to step in front of my van. He was very old and walked agonizingly slow as he made his way across the driveway. Every step seemed like it could be his last one. For a second I felt impatience. Then I quickly reminded myself that he could not help it and could not walk very fast. He looked bent over, worn out and beat down by the world. There was no happy look on his face. No look of peace or contentment over a life well lived. I wondered about him. Did he have someone special to take care of him? Or someone he took care of? Someone who told him they loved him? Someone to kiss goodnight?
This man probably remembers the Great Depression. Imagine the stories he could tell about life way back then. Maybe he was just a little child then whose family struggled just to put food on the table. Maybe as an infant he had a loving mother who wrapped him in a nice warm blanket and rocked him to sleep at night. One minute he was a toddler playing with his toys, then a high schooler, then married with kids of his when he looks in the mirror he sees someone he does not even recognize and he can't figure it out because inside he feels just the same as he did when he was a teen because the soul is AGELESS. But his body does not always want to cooperate with is mind. Time flew by in the blink of an eye. He feels he has so much to offer. He has experienced so much in life that he could share with others. But nobody wants to listen. They just see him as old and useless. So many of his friends and peers have been put in nursing homes so nobody has to deal with them. Out of sight, out of mind.
So he finally made it across the driveway and shuffled on his way. I drove by him and waved and gave him a smile and he gave a crooked smile back. I hope he has had a wonderful life. :)


  1. Nicely written and very well put.

    I'm sure that smile was the highlight of the week for the guy.


  2. That smile probably made his day. :)

  3. OMG! Do you live inside my head? ROFL!

    I am always thinking about things like this, too. And have those moments, too, where I realize that I am in such a narrow spot--and suddenly feel my heart and soul open up and my perspective shift. Like my guardian angel has tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me to get outside of myself. Don't you just love people so much sometimes that it fills your heart up till it leaks out your eyes? Thank for sharing this!

    A kindred soul from Fargo. :):)

  4. I love this post...I work at a VA Medical Center and I don't get out much into the population as I have my head buried in Finance, but when I do I always put on a smile and wish the vets a nice day...they have done so much for us and most have led a rough life in choosing to serve so that we could have the freedom we have in our country.