Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

It was her very first outing. Weeks earlier she had fallen while getting dressed. She said she knew on the way down it was going to be bad. It was. Her leg was broken in two places. After surgery, a hospital stay and weeks in a rehab facility, my usually upbeat, energetic 86 year old mother was weary and feeling rather down.

When we suggested going out to dinner, she readily agreed. She was using a walker by this time and felt strong enough to negotiate the walk from the car to the restaurant. We all piled into cars and headed out to her favorite Italian restaurant.

She did really well. We sat around a big table and put hospitals and physical therapy on the back burner for a little while.

When it was time to leave, Mom very slowly made her way to the exit. The restaurant was getting crowded by this time, and she had to carefully negotiate her way around the people waiting for tables. As we approached the doors, I tried to get ahead of her to hold them open. There were two teenage girls coming in, and I wanted to get there quickly so they wouldn't have to wait.

Before I could get around my Mom, they opened the door and stood back to wait for her to make her way out. It seemed to take forever, but those sweet girls stood quietly, smiling encouragement.

It was a special moment for me. The kindness of strangers is an unexpected blessing. The fact that they were teenagers somehow made it even more so.

This is my moment for Tuesdays Unwrapped at Emily's.