Making our usual U turn at the end of a street, I noticed a little old man sitting in his car with the door open.
He was in the same spot as he was when we had passed just a few minutes earlier.
I looked over as I walked by, telling myself that he was just probably working up to that 'second wind' to hoist himself out of his car.
I continued down the road, glancing back 'just being nosy'.
Luckily, the prompting to go back and ask if he was o.k. was louder than the Minuses.
(Those are negative little voices who say things like, "You're going to look dumb if you do" or "You are going to take away his dignity and embarrass him if you ask".)
I don't know how my dog did it, but like an unusually polite child, she did not make a sound as I approached the car.
I asked the gentleman if he needed help and he said he would be fine if he just had a good flashlight so he could see what key he needed.
Well, I just happened to have one.
(Walking at 10:00 p.m. it is hard to see the gifts my dog drops and I use the light so I can see where to scoop, not just 'to look' at her treasures.)
He heaved himself out of the car and gave me a set of keys that were in his little khaki shorts, (they went along with his mid-calf polyester socks and loafers.) (I sincerely just love that endearing look.)
It appeared he had a tear running down his face.
It was hard for my motherly instinct not to reach up and wipe it away.
He said he had just been sitting there for quite some time.
We sauntered over to the front door of his house.
Oh, you should have seen us!
We were like two inebriated people trying to direct the other on which key to insert and which direction it should turn.
One with the keys, the other trying to hold the flashlight steady.
I tried several times and could not find a fit.
When I asked if he had any more keys, he magically pulled out two more loose keys.
One of them fit but we (I) couldn't get it to turn. (Acting like Happy Hour people again, we gave orders about the best way to get in and which way to jiggle it and that sort of talk.)
Again I asked if he had any more keys.
It was like "Let's Make a Deal."
Sure enough he produced yet another set!
This time we made the connection for the security gate.
We then figured out the two separate keys that unlocked his entry door.
Like drunk people we celebrated, proud of our accomplishment as if it was an incredible feat.
Actually, it was a puzzle to be reckoned with.
I helped get his groceries out of the back seat.
He told me that he would have to throw his milk away because it had been sitting out for some time.
I replied that I didn't think that was necessary because it was still very cold.
I had to reassure him a couple more times when he finally said, "Then I am going to go in and have myself a glass of milk."
We said our goodbyes and as I walked away I couldn't help but think of Kenny Chesneys' song that says, "That's the good stuff."
And my heart smiled as I thought about my life and I sang the words, "Drink it up, that's the good stuff."
I cried my own quiet tears of gratitude on our shortened walk home.
Tears of gratitude for the opportunity to help someone in need,
And for the blessing it brought into my soul.
I also cried tears of sadness for the truth that he may not be able to live on his own much longer.
I was humbled, that someday that is a trial I myself may have to face as I experience the 'winter' of my life.
In spite of what may seem to be low- spirited emotions,
It was the best 'night out' I have had in a looonnggg time!!
Now that's the good stuff!
"Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed." --Derek A. Cuthbert