When the people in the church were helping me to move into my apartment, several of them told me that I needed to go see Mary. She never comes to church anymore, and someone should really check on her.
One day in October, I was putting something into my storage locker, and I noticed a man working in Mary's yard. He looked like an older gentleman, but he was pulling up all the spent Dahlias in the garden. (I later found out that he's 93.) I decided that it was the time for my visit.
That was when I met Mary's husband Jim. He encouraged me to go up to the house and see his wife. What would would you imagine that I found? From what everyone said, I expected to find a frail, home bound woman who was in ill health and holding on by a fingernail. Ummmm ... that would be a fair description of the opposite of what I found.
I found a spritely woman in full possession of her faculties who stands up straight and moves around easily. She kept offering to make me dinner. (I politely but firmly refused.) We had a wonderful visit, and I assured her and her husband that I would be back soon.
You might think that this is a story about presumptions or jumping to conclusions but not so.
Apparently, Mary walked over to my apartment complex on the icy sidewalk and parking lot on Christmas Day to deliver a present to me. She didn't find my apartment. She stopped one door too soon. She called me the next day to ask about the location of my apartment. It was in the course of conversation that I found out that she fell off a half step at the bottom of my stoop on Christmas Day.
She assured me that she was fine. You can only imagine what I thought. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was just sick about what might have happened. And the thing is that I probably was home at the time, and I didn't hear a thing. I told her that I would be over today to see her. And, did I believe that she was fine? Of course not. How many 92 women do you know that could fall on concrete and not injure themselves?
What did I find when I saw Mary, today? I found the same spritely, sharp witted women that I met back in October. She said that she had been a bit stiff on Monday, but she was moving around just like someone who's 50 (or younger). I could hardly believe my eyes.
And yes, she still gave me some delicious goodies.
Mary still doesn't go to church. It's not because she's not physically able. She drives her car around town all the time. Rather, the echos in the sanctuary don't mesh well with her hearing aid. She doesn't see the point, and I don't blame her. Besides, I think that she thinks that all those young whipper snappers in their 70's and 80's aren't active enough for her. ;)
P.S. I've made her promise not to come over here until after all the winter snow and ice has melted away. Oy!