Thursday, May 18, 2017

Learning a lesson in simple kindness. (I coulda stayed on the damn bus!)

So anyway, it was raining so I hopped on a bus on the way home — from Mass, no less!

An elderly man — and when I say "elderly," I mean someone older than I am — struggled on. I hopped up and gave him my seat, and he thanked me, saying something about how "kind" I was.

I blushed (I hope) a bit and brushed it off. He asked me my name, and whether I was married. I told him I was, and went into a long spiel about how my second husband and I ended up together as man and wife. He seemed to enjoy it.

Did I mention that his name is Larry? No, of course I didn't. His name is Larry.

Larry gets around with a walker. He's a very nice man, very courteous, and  very funny. We had some fun trading jokes on the bus.

Then Larry told me about his wife, Anita.

Anita. That's her name. Dear God, please at least remember that I remember her name!

Larry began to tell me about how he became a widower. How he went into their bedroom one day and found Anita looking as if she were asleep. He shook her, trying to wake her up. Only he couldn't, because Anita had died.

And I looked up and saw...yep, my stop.

Had to get off the bus, I told myself. It's my stop I told myself. I kissed Larry on the forehead, promised prayers for him and for Anita...and got off the bus.

Dammit! I could've stayed on the damned bus!

That Larry needed — not wanted, but needed — to talk about finding Anita, to talk about Anita herself, to just talk to someone who'd listen? It was as obvious as the rain falling down.

Only I "had" to get off the bus.

On my short walk home, I prayed for Anita. I prayed for her husband Larry — a guy who deserved a much better fellow rider than me.

I could've easily stayed on the bus and listened to Larry...listened to his memories, his — who knows, tales about his children? Grandchildren?

I could've been a Christian.

Instead? I got off the bus.

May God have mercy on me. And, not that I deserve it, but Larry and Anita do. May You shower Your love on them. And teach me how to emulate Your Love. Amen.