At work today I helped an older couple out to their car. I felt stressed. I was a day behind, and just too much to do. No amount of breathing exercises helped me. I chatted with the lady with half a mind, mostly wanting to hurry it up. She told me about how she was 82 and doesn’t get around very well. I replied she was getting around better than my grandparents who are 10 years younger.We walked slowly across the parking lot.
Then she floored me.
“… in the backseat of that green car. Yeah, that one. That man there…my husband…he has stage 4 cancer. He’s dying…”
I was shaken out of my unimportant worries.
“Have pity on us old folks, young man.”
As I pushed the squeaking cart back into the grocery store the exchange rang in my mind. All the things I ‘had’ to do were meaningless in light of reality.
What was he doing with his last days? Grocery shopping with his wife.
After enlightenment, the laundry.