Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Old Lady Not Seen

I got it, a day late. Too late to make a difference. But I got it. On our first day in 100 Mile House we went shopping at the local Safeway store to pick up some pop and snacks for the room. Also to kill time and just hang out. As I wrote yesterday, this is a nice town, people treated me no diffierently than I used to be treated before I ended up in a chair. So I was quite enjoying rolling around shopping.

On our way out of the store we decided to go back into the mall up to a small coffee shop named Tatanka for a cup of tea and a bite to eat. When you leave Safeway there is a small ramp up back into the mall itself. It's a bit too steep for me on my own, so Joe told me to wander around the store until he got rid of the groceries and then he would come back and help me get up the ramp.

I was pushing by a narrow space and I found an elderly woman behind me. I wanted to get out of the way of her and her cart so I began pushing quickly. She told me to slow down and that she wasn't in a hurry, then she started chatting about the weather. I answer her, a bit breathlessly because I'm trying to get my boat out of the passage. I manage to let her by but only a few minutes later she is back, behind me again, at the magazine rack by the door. Again, I'm trying to move and trying to figure out the path that she took to get behind me again.

Now she's telling me to slow down again and is asking where I'm from. I'm answering but I'm also pushing myself out of the way. As a fat kid who always felt in the way, this keys into an ancient anxiety of mine, and I just have to get out of the way. I manage, again, to clear the way for her. She gives me a smile, one that has a message, and then heads out of the store.

Last night, I sat up in bed, 'She was just lonely, she just wanted to talk. I was just hanging around, she thought she'd share some time with me.' I was thankful that while being oblivious to her need I wasn't rude. Damn, I thought, I would have loved to chat for a bit. I had some questions about 100 Mile House she'd probably have been able to answer.

I have to remember sometimes to look out at the same time as I look in. Look past old patterns of feeling cumbersome and start new patterns of friendliness.

Double Damn.


Anonymous said...

Dave, if it helps, that kind of thing happens to me as well. I get so caught up within myself, dealing with insecurities or past experiences, I fail to see the needs that others might have. Be kind to yourself.


Kei said...

I agree with Lisa. Go easy on yourself.

Jen said...

Hi Dave,
I was part of the group you spoke to today and yesterday in 100 Mile house. I work in the adult day program at Cedar Crest. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed listening to you. You had such an impact on me! I was close to tears several times. The stories you told will stay with me for a long time to come I am sure.
I am looking forward to your next visit.
I am glad your experience with the folks of 100 Mile was a positive one. We are a friendly community!
Until next time take care, and I am enjoying reading your blog.

Susan said...

"I have to remember to look out sometimes at the same time as I look in"

Me too!

JM said...

I totally relate.