Monday, April 7, 2008

Meaningful Monday

"I'm sorry. Please forgive me! I don't mean to hold you up," "he said as he struggled to get off the escalator.
I'll admit to it. There have been times when walking or driving behind an older person I've gotten impatient and upset. I've huffed and zoomed around them because I was in a hurry to get nowhere. Perhaps I'm more aware of it now because I see myself there one day soon. Today I saw myself in this old man's shoes and it caused me toslow down, stop and ask for his forgiveness.
He was about five or six people ahead of me. I was in a hurry and saw him as an obstacle. I've seen people get off the end of an escalator and stop dead in their tracks, gather their things and suddenly there's a pile up of angry people behind them. You can't stop an escalator full of people behind you. Like the Energizer bunny, they keep on goin'.
This man was well aware of the challenge. He tried desperately to step aside. Fumbling with his small packages, struggling to gain his footing, youcould see how troubling this was for him. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me! I don't mean to hold you up," he said as he struggled to get off the escalator.
I suddenly saw this in a whole new light. It was like I was watching my future. I felt sorry for him. I felt sick to my stomach because this man was apologizing to everyone, when we should have been helping him and calming his fears.
One by one, people zipped around him. I heard a few angry comments whispered as one lady passed by him.
I saw me.
By the time I got to him he was just about steady on his feet.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know there was more," he said.
"No, sir. No more with me," I said. This really hit me hard. I realized right then how sad it was that the world was in such a hurry. That, of course, included me. more with me. Count me out.
This wonderful man paid his dues. For whatever time he had spent on this earth, he most likely walked many rough roads and too many important miles. Now he should be apologizing for moving slower?
My heart ached as I looked into his eyes. I wished that I could see what he had seen all those years. His face weathered from life itself, was creasedAnd wrinkled. The small soft pockets under his eyes and the gentle lines that curved up and around them told me he had many happy moments, too. Those were traces left behind from laughter and a smiling, happy man.
"My friend, can I help you with those things?" I asked.
Hesitant at first, he finally said, "Well, yes, thank you!"
I placed my hand under his left arm and walked with him a safe distance away from the rush of people.
"So what are you shopping for, sir?"
"Oh, just a little something for my neighbor. She's a young mother raising kids on her own. She's always so nice to me. I thought a box of candy for Mother's Day..." he said, stopping suddenly as he searched his inside pocket of his sport coat.
"Do you need something?" I asked.
"Oh, no. Here. I think I have it right here. I always carry them with me," he said. Then pulling out a hand full of papers he shuffled through them and handed me a business card that read: "John A. Pomicter Friend to all...enemy to no one! I said a prayer today and you were the answer. Thank you!"
"That's for you," he said. "Thanks for stopping tohelp an old man."
"My friend, you helped me. I discovered that I was unhappy with the world and I was part of the problem. Now I'll be part of the solution. No more with me!"
"Then this was meant to be," he said smiling.
"You know God sends me gifts every day and always at least one special person. You were my gift for today! Let's go get some chocolates, my Friend."
-- Author Unknown


PEA said...

Hello dear Jo:-)

I'm slowly getting caught up with everyone...that will teach me for not visit anyone in almost 2 weeks! lol

I loved reading this story and it's one that everyone should read and learn from it. No matter how young we are now, we will all one day be the age that old man was and go through the same thing he did. Thank you for sharing this with us...the next time I see an elderly person having trouble, I will be by his/her side to offer my help!! xoxo

Mike Golch said...

Jo,thank you for such a wonderful posting,and Yes let's go get some chocolate.Enjoy the world with all of our friends.

Jen McGrath said...

What a beautiful post!

Linds said...

Beautiful, Jo. I will remember this too. Maybe it will make me slow a little and see more. I don't want to be a passerby who is impatient.

violetlady said...

Thank you for reminding us, Jo. As I inch ever closer to the "golden years" I agree with you that I become more patient and understanding to others, especially the older ones. (Great music, Jo!)

Wildflower Cabin said...

That was so beautiful, I nearly cried. I do so very much love elderly people, so this touched my heart in a special way. The writer clearly understood that we are all hand in hand, taking our turns as the aging process claims our physical selves. Hopefully there will be kindness around us when our turns arrive.

MYSTI said...

What a wonderful story. I read it yesterday but had to rush out the door and did not have time to comment. It is a good lesson. Thank you for sharing.

judypatooote said...

Well after reading this post and watching idol gives back, I'm a blubbering idiot....That story brought me to tears, as has idol gives back.... I have seen old men like that, and I think of my dad....somehow they really can break your heart.....old ladies seem mean....(I mean really old ladies....) LOL nice post.... judy