cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
I had an experience yesterday that continues to grow in my mind as I reflect upon it. I was leaving the local Kohl’s Department Store and paused as a courtesy to permit a petite lady somewhere in the range of 45 years of age to pass through the doors before me. As I began to take a step toward the doorway, I noticed an older man hurrying to join with the lady. I paused again and he moved to her side and walked out with her.
I noticed that he was carrying a small stuffed animal, a dog I think, and was fondling and caressing it as a young child would do. The lady looked over her shoulder at him and asked him what he was going to name the animal. I realized then that this adult man, graying and with a full beard, was probably somewhere in his mid to late fifties and was childlike in his actions and responses to her question even though he was fully grown. He responded, “I think I’ll name him Duffy (or Guffy). Yeah, that is a good name for him.” Then he hugged his little animal closely as they continued to their auto.
They were going to an auto parked near mine, so I continued to walk slowly observing and thinking about the situation I had come upon. She was keeping watch over him and the autos that were moving through the aisle just as she would’ve had he been a small child
I was moved by her devotion to him and to his welfare. In this day, when we too often are lost in thoughts about self, she was showing me that she had found a much deeper meaning for her life than to be worrying about self.
As you can tell, I am still thinking about what I witnessed, and I am still unsure what I think about it other than that she was exhibiting a very genuine and caring feeling for him, whether or not he was related to her. This brought me to appreciating that we have people who truly are more concerned about others than about themselves, people who live their faith every day of their lives.
She was showing her love for that man-child in all the small ways that she watched over him and his welfare, and she was seemingly oblivious to the world around her. I was the beneficiary of her demonstrated love and caring for him almost as much as he was. She helped me to better understand how I should be involved in helping others without even being aware of the impact she had on me or on others although I didn’t notice anyone else who seemed to be aware of she and her friend (or relative).
I wonder how many more of these same types of things have escaped my notice. How many have escaped the notice of most of us?
I am continually amazed at what casual observations can do for us if we but recognize that we are being touched by something greater than us.