Well, yesterday we were grocery shopping and, as is our habit, Joe goes first and I unload the basket onto the belt that takes it to the cash register. I had emptied out the bottom of the cart and had moved on to the upper basket. This one is harder for me because I have to reach farther and sometimes pick up things just with two fingers on the plastic bag. The whole process is something I like to do.
For me, the chores that I like are the ones with obvious results. A pile of dirty dishes on the counter turns into clean dishes put away in the cupboard. A bunch of ingredients turns into a casserole, made with enough to freeze. And the cart is the same, a full cart becomes an empty cart. Then I move back and push the cart through the lane so that it can be loaded again when the bill is paid.
So back to the woman behind me. She watched me as I unloaded the cart, I was struggling a bit to keep up with the belt which whipped stuff away quicker than I could load it. When I got to the top basket there was something just out of my reach, I tried two or three times, to reach it and just couldn't. I looked up and saw that grimace on her face. He was using every bit of energy to just let me alone and just let me finish. She looked as if she was in some pain.
Finally, I reached the item and put it on the belt. Done.
I looked back at her and her face had relaxed, she said, "You don't know how hard it was for me to just let you get it. I could have so easily got it for you."
I said, "You don't know how glad I am that I was just let be and just let do the tasks that were set for my hands."
She smiled, "I divorced a man that helped me too much, it made me feel stupid and small, and the expectation of gratitude was overwhelming. I can't do that to someone else."
"Thanks," I said, "Isn't freedom wonderful."
She smiled but her eyes were bleeding tears.