An older man walking with a cane was leaving the back of the store as I stood in line at the Geek Squad service desk. He took two steps and seemed to gasp. I thought perhaps his oxygen was faulty? He had a small black bag over his shoulder. The store greeter offered him their wheelchair. The man shook him off. I watched him go to his car to make certain he was okay. He made it on his own. Otherwise, I was going to grab the Best Buy wheelchair and offer to escort him to his car. The store greeter asked if he could help me. I told him I was watching the man to be certain he made it to his car. He told me he was watching too, on the front door monitor. I commented the man did not look well. Store employee agreed.
The nice man at the Geek Squad desk was able to release my computer to me early. It has been running extremely slow and making writing this blog and other tasks frustrating. So I took it in for a tune up.
When I was finished and had loaded my computer back into my trunk, I noticed the man had returned but had not yet exited his car. Went to speak with him and offer my empty cart if he wanted to use it to walk back into the store. Asked if he was okay.
He said he was embarrassed. He got in the store previously and thought he had lost his wallet. He went home to see if he had left it there. Turns out he was not carrying oxygen, but a murse, “Man-Purse”. He had put his wallet in the wrong pocket. He was so angry with himself. That is why he was huffing as he left the store. Just so, so angry. I assured him we all do those sorts of things.
He said growing old is hard. I said it is not for sissies! He laughed and said his mother used to say that. He said “Someone above has always looked out for me. Call it Him or Her or whatever you want.” I assured him I need all the help I can get and rely on God all the time.
We continued to chat. I asked him to be gentle with himself. We all need help. Be kind to himself. He was then smiling and breathing better. He took my cart back into the store.
As I drove away I wondered if he might have benefited from a meditation I heard recently. Are you familiar with the app “Calm”? I recently listened to a morning meditation read by Tamara Levitt. The link to Calm explains her role as “A meditator of over 25 years, Tamara is the Head of Mindfulness at Calm, where she writes and narrates the company’s meditation content, a role she has held since 2014.”. That morning the title captured me. The reading was “Age Mindfully.” I was so impressed I transcribed it. Below are portions of her writing. She is quite gifted.
Getting older isn’t easy. As we age our memory beings to fade. Our body begins to slow down. And the world responds differently to us. We can’t trivialize these challenges. They are real. And they can feel scary. But if on top of those real challenges we resist our changing reality, we are sure to suffer.Tamara Levi
I am now convicted. In my concern for the man as he left the store I assumed his murse was an oxygen unit. I am wondering though if he might have been more patient with himself over the misplaced wallet if he had grasped the idea that resisting the challenges of our changing reality brings us suffering?
Many authors of many types explore the ideas of impermanence and the transitory nature of life. I will address that in another posting. Tamara went on to say:
We can allow impermanence to be our teacher, observing our changing reality and then rather than resisting the aging process, we become more able to embrace it with a sense of openness. With less resistance we are more easily able to flow from one year to the next, one stage of life to another.Tamara Levitt
Less resistance. Sounds good if I can actually embrace and accept the changing phases of my strength, age and abilities. The good news is my right foot and leg are improving and I might get rid of this orthotic boot very soon! Physical therapy pays off. The exercises will be needed the rest of my life.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.Isaiah 46:4 NIV
Even when I am old and gray,Psalm 71:18
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.