Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Heartwarming Moment

As I was leaving the grocery store this afternoon, I saw an old beat-up car pull into the row in front of me.  A young man got out; he was maybe in his late teens or early twenties, dressed in old NASCAR regalia. He walked around the car, opened the passenger door and a female hand reached out. That's what got my attention. It's been ages since I've seen a young man open a car door for a woman.

He pulled a couple of times but the woman did not emerge. I expected to see a heavily pregnant young woman get out, given the tender effort he was putting into trying to help pull her from the vehicle.

To my surprise, what emerged was not a fertile young thing, but an ancient crone, with an enormous dowager's hump and a twisted spine that looked painful even from a distance. Her hair was a mess from her efforts to get out of the car and she tried to smoothe it down, looking at her reflection in the windows of the car parked next to them. The young man helped her, gently stroking her hair.  It was still a mess, but she smiled up in gratitude and he smiled back with genuine affection.

She turned away from the car, took a moment to steady herself, and reached out for him, like a toddler reaching for Daddy.  He took her hand in his, and together they walked slowly across the parking lot.  She struggled to maintain her balance and forward momentum. He struggled to match her snail-like pace. 

As I drove by them, he looked at me, raised his eyebrows and smiled as if to say, "Whaddya gonna do?"

I smiled back with what I hope he perceived as admiration and respect, maybe even reverence.  

Blessings be upon you, young man.  You made my day! ..... and hers.

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