Last night ‘on the walk’ Lupe and I saw a shadow in the midnight black, bone-chilling distance. An elderly man lying helpless in the snow, black cold, car door wide open, -7 degrees below. He lives two doors down, a neighbor and I don’t know him at all. I tried to lift him with my will, powerless to pull him up by myself. I stayed close, reassuring him he’d be alright. My mind spinning, trying to figure out what to do. I finally bolted next door for help. Together Roberta (go Roberta) and I got him into his car back to semi-safety and warmth, nearly frozen. All because he wanted a pizza from Pizza Hut, his dignity and independence. I’m sad. I’m sorry for the millions of lonely people, elders with no one looking out for them. Nobody hardly knows or cares they exist. Ass frozen, bones cracking, all ninety pounds of the man matters, he has a story. Same as I, same as you. I’m no saint, no do-gooder just a person trying to survive with a shred of decency.
I am however hyper aware.
I understand how excruciatingly painful, palpable the loneliness feels even while surrounded and cocooned by deep love. My mother, an old woman now (I hate admitting that) anxiously watches out the window, awaiting my safe return. I know how blessed I am to look towards the house, to glimpse the shadow of a small person looking out. I smile inside, relax my breath. I know with absolute certainty one person is missing me when I’m gone.
Sometimes, I go away without leaving the insulated safety net of a home-built on fierce, ferocious, all-encompassing Mother-love. Sometimes I go away terrified I won’t find my way back. No matter how far I travel, the heart always knows instinctively the way home.
I’ll be more mindful now when I pass.