Rules of the Road
Though somewhat younger, my wife and I attend a church that caters to senior citizens. We like it because of the traditional service and very friendly elderly people. One in particular is a lady in her early eighties, who cheerfully greets us at the same door every Sunday morning with a smile and kind words. We look forward to seeing Betty and giving her an occasional hug.
On a Sunday when I went to church alone, Betty handed me a small piece of paper and asked me to read it when I had time. On the slip of paper she had written, “Here are some phrases to think about over an egg enjoyed from an egg cup.”
Stay loose -- learn to watch snails. Make little signs that say yes. Make friends with freedom and uncertainty. Cry during movies. Swing as high as you can on a swing by moonlight. Do it for love. Take lots of naps. Give money away. Do it now. The money will follow. Believe in magic. Laugh a lot. Celebrate every gorgeous moment. Read every day. Giggle with children. Listen to those older than you are. Entertain your inner child. Get wet. Hug trees. Write more letters. Eat a soft-boiled egg from an egg cup with a candle on the table. Glory.
One Sunday we got to church and entered without a greeting. During the service it dawned on me that our friend Betty was not at her post on this morning. After the service, we went to the fellowship hall for coffee, and I asked another lady where Betty was. She told me that she had been hit by a car and had been flown by helicopter to the hospital in the south of the county. She was small and frail, but not a bone had been broken. She said that Betty was mad because she had always wanted to ride on a helicopter and she couldn’t remember a thing.
I discovered that Betty had been moved to a rehabilitation center near my office, so I stopped in to visit for a few minutes. She was in therapy, but I finally found her sitting at a table alone. I walked over to her and saw that she was horribly bruised on the whole left side of her face and body. She smiled when she saw me walking over to her.
I said, “Betty, do you remember that list you gave me about how to enjoy life?”
She smiled again and said, “Yes, I do.”
I said, “Well, I have another thing to add to the list.”
She said, “What is it?”
I said, “Look both ways.”
She broke out laughing and reached out to give me a hug.