– Order meds for C – check
– Email work re:Sick leave – check
– Write blog post for Your Jewish Mother blog – Check (going up Thursday!)
– RSVP to friend’s wedding – check
– Menu plan for the week – check
When I broke for a shower and lunch I was quite proud of myself. Granted there were still some pretty big items on the list (Write a query, take a walk), but still, I was getting somewhere! I had a quick shower, ate a healthy lunch (WW day three, still going strong. Yay, me!), and sat back down to nurse Little L some more.
All of a sudden it was 2:30 and I realized there was no way I was going to make it through the whole list. I debated for all of thirty seconds and opted to procrastinate a little more on writing my query and go for the big walk, but first I had to get a week’s worth of groceries. I never look forward to exercising, but I know that I have to get my duff off the couch if I want to drop these pregnancy pounds. (Plus, I know how to walk, whereas I’ve never written a query, and right now that seems more insurmountable than getting back into shape. Go figure.)
Fast forward a half hour later, Little L is in the Bjorn and I’m ambling up and down the aisles of the supermarket, list in hand. My groceries are piling up and I’m starting to really believe that I might actually have to exercise. And that’s when I noticed the little old lady. Really, it would have been hard not to notice her; she was blocking the aisle and walking at snails pace. I squeezed around her and kept on trucking.
Around the next aisle there she was again, shuffling her way towards the end display. I pushed past, throwing groceries in the cart. By the time I was shoving bell peppers into a plastic bag I’d run into her at least three times, so when I turned my head and saw her again it would have been really rude not to smile. I’m many things, but I’m not rude, even if it means that I’ll have to chat with a little old lady.
It was her first trip out of the house alone since a heart attack and heart surgery. She’d been in the store two hours and was just getting done with her shopping. She’d had to empty her cart once because it was too heavy to push. She’d left her cell phone at home knowing her daughter would be mad at her for heading out on her own. I chatted with her a little more and then moved away. I gathered some peaches and a pear, chose some herbs, and watched her out of the corner of my eye. Shuffle, shuffle, pause, shuffle, shuffle, pause.
“Are you going to be ok to drive home?” I asked her.
“Yes, yes. I’ll be fine. I’ll leave the groceries in my car and my son in law will bring them in later.”
“Are you really sure? I could drive you home if you wanted.”
“Where do you live?” She asked, not exactly the answer I expected.
“I live around here, but that’s ok, I don’t mind driving you home, really. Your children can come get your car later. I don’t think you should drive yourself.”
“Maybe that would be nice.”
“Ok. I’m going to get a few last items and I’ll meet you at the cash register.” I raced off as she shuffled towards the registers.
She didn’t argue, and I was floored. She must have been exhausted to accept help from a complete stranger. I’m sure the fact that I was carrying an infant made me seem a little less like a serial killer, but still, it takes guts to admit that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
The cashier loaded her groceries into my car while I loaded mine into the trunk. I drove back to the store entrance and picked up my new friend. We chatted some more as we drove to her house; she seemed tired and frustrated by her new limitations.
“A year ago I could walk as fast as you.”
The quiet way she said this stopped me in my tracks. Sometimes getting older doesn’t happen gradually. Sometimes you lose abilities overnight, and that has to be terrible.
I brought in her groceries and made sure she was ok, then I jumped back into my car and drove off. A quick glance at the clock showed me that I only had enough time to go home, unload my own groceries, and head north to pick C up from daycare. No walk for me today. But it’s ok, I got a little exercise lugging all those groceries, and now I don’t feel like complaining about walking anymore. I have a hunch it will be easier to motivate myself tomorrow.