12 February 2011
This is the second time I have seen her in the past week. Same walk, same camel color wool coat with a belt, same off white knit cap, walking with a purpose. Her two bags of groceries balancing each other out as she walks briskly, head down, on the home stretch. Today I saw her as I was breathing in and out of the nebulizer, hoping that the expensive Xopanex would open me up. I looked out the window, with the gray February day, and saw the little lady in the trench coat and just wanted to cry. She must be at least 80, and yet I wasn't crying for her, I was crying for me. The last time I saw her I was sitting in the same sofa, it was after 11am and I was shaking and trying to eat my morning scrambled egg ritual. The TV was on with Hoda and Kathy Lee being wacky, and in the bottom right corner was the Storm Team weather alert - with the temperature and below zero windchills, and as I looked up, there she was - camel trench coat, off white wool hat, head down, briskly walking to the grocery store. And just like today, I held back tears, for myself.
You see, I was crying, because if I didn't' feel so damn shitty, I would have bounced out of the sofa, grabbed my boots and coat, and ran to have her stop and I would drive her the mile to the store. But instead, I just sat and helplessly watched her, with concern and envy. I watch her, and wonder, what is her story - does she have family or friends, is she stubborn and won't ask for help, or is there no one to ask? And I know, had this been my pre chronic fatigue self, I would have all those answers, but right now I am just trying to get through the day and not lose hope, that by next winter, in the cold days of February, the little lady in the camel coat and off white wool hat, will be riding shot gun as we head to the store.