Sunday, November 18, 2007

there was an old woman

Walking yesterday we find an elderly woman lying at the bottom of her stoop. We quickly move to her, M and I. Or at least I do, M is somewhat curiously fearful and lagging behind.

A stream of words, scared harsh words in an eastern european dialect I do not understand. I move to lift her and she lets me, we stand her up. Standing yet gripping my arm she wobbles now and more words are spewed, I imagine she's cursing who left her or god himself but I have no idea. Her hands are like talons and I feel odd somehow, wanting her to stop.

A car pulls up and an older woman leaps from the car, more words flying through the wind. She smiles at me and takes the woman's arm out of mine. She moves quickly to open the front door and hurries the woman inside. She turns to smile at me, says thank you in english, then she is old. The door shuts behind her, the lock clickety clicks.

I stand there for a minute, M resumes her chattering and yet I can't quite hear her, the story is unfinished and yet it is over. I stand foolishly now, trespassing at worst. She was laying on the ground, I say. But no one is listening.

30 comments:

slouching mom said...

The language, such a barrier. Not knowing the whole story, another barrier.

But all of that notwithstanding, your actions were generous and compassionate.

And your daughter will file that incident away for use some day.

Suz said...

So many others would have just passed her by....

deb said...

Weird.

kiki said...

That would shake me to my core. Especially the way that the other woman was so cavalier about her, as if 'she's old' is an explanation. Sort of makes you wonder what she was saying.

Lawyer Mama said...

I would have been shook up as well. You'd think the other woman would have been more concerned.

flutter said...

You are kind.

Julie Pippert said...

We are so ashamed and scared of asking for help, more than any other reason (I think) because of fear of judgment and reprisal. Such a witch hunt culture we've cultivated.

Sorry. I must be on a tear today. That's just what it made me think of. I'll stop and turn it around.

Your actions were so kind. And while you are one who would and could give more, you gave exactly what they needed.

Julie
Using My Words

blooming desertpea said...

She was laying on the ground - I imagine the other lady will hear about it during the ride ... but you will never know why!

Hel said...

Promise me that one day when you publish your book I will get a signed copy.

And that when you are rich and famous you will fly here and we will spend our summer afternoons drinking beer and talking.

Hel said...

And your offer of help helped even if you are not sure whether it was appreciated.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I wonder if she tried to make it out of her home by herself and fell? I guess we'll never know.

liv said...

you're a hell of a woman, ms. talia.

Family Adventure said...

Was she waiting to be picked up and then fell down?

Very strange. And unresolved.

Heidi

Kyla said...

Maybe she was waiting for that ride and fell asleep on her stoop? Perhaps when she woke she was upset that they hadn't arrived yet...or upset because she thought she had slept through their arrival.

You are kind, very, very kind.

Hetha said...

That sounds very surreal. I wonder where they were going?

painted maypole said...

we have helped people who have wandered off... people with dementia or alzheimers or something and they don't know where they are or way. it is frightening and disorienting in English, and must be even more so in another language.

But what M knows? That you would help a woman lying on the ground. You are a powerful example, mama.

mamatulip said...

I can't help but wonder how many people walked past her before you stopped.

Tabba said...

so many questions.

and yet that is all you are to know.

for now.

these people find you (or you find the for a reason. maybe strictly for M's benefit in this instance. maybe you will never know why. but your place is your place.
i imagine somedays it is harder to reconcile it more than others.

i'm just so thankful you are out there.

FENICLE said...

I totally feel like this woman sometimes!!!

Christine said...

oh, i love you jen, totally.

QT said...

God that is so strange, jen. I am sure you are dying to know the rest of the story.

crazymumma said...

...and you picked her up because it was the right thing to do...

kgirl said...

bizarre. glad she was 'okay.'

Jennifer said...

Oh, goodness. I can just picture her there... What an angel you are, Jen. Seriously. Fluttering about; helping.

Cecilieaux said...

This will become ever more common as boomers (c'est moi, c'est moi) age. The older woman seems at a third-hand glance to be suffering Alzheimer's and the younger one seems to be a frazzled family caregiver. You did the right thing. It doesn't matter that her family showed up. They might not have known where she was. Then you would have been able to use your homeless caring skills.

Cecilieaux
Shavings Off My Mind

Janet said...

Some people wouldn't have stopped. You did and I know you would again. And now your daughter does too.

Amy Y said...

Kids are so resilient, eh?
Hope that woman is alright... You did the right thing ~ something so many others would not have! You are such a special person, Jen.

mitzh said...

You have a very kind heart, Jen.

And yes, it is hard to talk when no one seems to be listening but sometimes we have to keep on talking until someone does...

Ally said...

This is strange, the not-knowing of it all. At least you can be confident in the rightness of your response, the helpful generosity of your spirit.

bgirl said...

woah...crazy story - so random.
you - so right on.