Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Are You An Angel?"

Each week day when the weather is sunny, Loretta takes her luncheon break at noon and walks to a nearby park to join a lonely elderly widow. There on the same park bench under the wide embracing branches of a tall oak tree, the two ladies talk and share a little laughter.

Yes, Loretta has heard some of those old stories the elderly woman tells with such gusto, but what does it matter. The stories are compelling and sometimes the elderly lady adds more detail as she ponders the people and events those stories are about.

Being with Loretta gives that elderly woman something to look forward to, as it gets her out of bed and away from the lonely monotony of a television set when she leaves her little apartment to go to that park bench.

And along the way, she gets some much needed exercise as she walks the park's pathways and sees people and trees and fresh flowers, hears the chirping of the birds and feels the sunshine warm her body.

To her, it is a vital outing, as important as the beating of her heart.

One day over lunch as she smiled at Loretta, the old lady could no longer contain the question that had occupied her thoughts. "Are you an angel," she asked with a deep sense of gratitude and wonder, for she knew of no-one else who would give of her time and of herself to uplift the life of a very senior citizen.

"Before I met you, for so long I had been alone with no-one to talk to," the elderly woman continued as her eyes watered with tears.

"I'm not an angel," Loretta replied with a glow. "I very much enjoy your company and I learn from you as you share your stories and your insight from having lived for so long. These lessons from your life make me a little bit wiser, and we have some laughs in the process. And we all need some laughter in our lives."

An instant later Loretta added, "Being with you gives my life greater purpose as well. For each day I get out of my own workaday world and do something nice for someone else and you make it fun.

"No, I'm not an angel," Loretta added, "But an angel must have guided me as she led me to you."

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