Letter, Unsent

May 26, 2007

Hello Rose,

I’ve been thinking about you since our encounter at the grocery store after your tumble today. I hope that you were taken good care of at the emergency room and are presently feeling much better. After much thought on the matter, I believe that the good Lord put me there at that time and place so I could help you. My only regret is not meeting your eyes with a smile as you walked in the store; if I had I may have caught you as you fell.

God bless.

I was leaving the grocery store, my head in the clouds, as I pushed my shopping cart toward the automatic doors. I barely registered an old woman entering the store ahead of me, and I didn't meet her eyes as the door swung open. I glanced out toward the parking lot and heard a loud thump to my left. I looked over and the woman was face down on the floor, not moving. I dropped my keys.

I went to her and knelt down, momentarily believing that this woman dropped dead right in front of me. I heard her groan and turn her head. Blood was trickling from her mouth.

People started to mill about, and a woman from the store came to assist us. Gingerly I helped her sit up and then slowly ("...on three!") we lifted her up and moved her to the bench in the store lobby.

Through mouthfuls of blood soaked paper towel (her upper plate had shattered, slicing open her gums) she explained that her name was Rose, that she had just arrived back from Colorado, and Oh, Lord, she had just come in for some ice cream that she wasn't going to be able to get.

I wouldn't leave her until her friend, who was on her way over to take her to the hospital (Rose refused to have an ambulance called) came to get her. I sat there with this woman as a sort of penitence for not preventing her fall. When I finally went home I had Rose's blood on my arm.

I keep thinking about Rose. About how she fared at the hospital. About how I hope the doctors and nurses treated her urgently and with proper respect. I wonder if I'll ever spot her in the grocery store again.

I wrote the letter above not long after I came home from the grocery store that day. I was on an emotional high alert and felt terrible about what had happened. When the store manager had asked Rose for her address she opened up her wallet and I spotted her last name. I found her address in the phone book when I got home. My husband was concerned that someone might interpret the letter as someone looking for a handout for a good deed done. I couldn't let that happen so that letter has been sitting on my computer desk for nearly a month, staring at me.

There's no point in sending the letter out now. I just hope to keep a sharp eye out for her in the store so I can let her know how much that experience changed my life.


Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have been trying to smile at more ppl to be pleasant to strangers. your experience has only emphasized my desire. Thank you for sharing. :)