Today, I had the privilege of helping someone that I had never met before. She lives in an assisted living facility and has Parkinson's which has left her unable to walk, speak and really communicate much at all. She is a wealthy woman but has one sister who refuses to assist her in any way except for when she has run out of money. (The sister will be inheriting the money when she passes away). The bills have not been paid since July so as you can imagine, there are collection notices and a box stuffed with stuff that needed to be sorted through. I agreed to assist her and I think she helped me more than I helped her.
I was forewarned that she was not very fond of Black people and that she may react and not want me to help her.
She sat in a wheelchair and I greeted her. She looked at me curiously. I smiled and then sat down next to her. I chatted with her (she listened and I chatted) about her sweater and singing, anything to see if she would respond. She would only make sounds but some of the sounds did sound like yes and no so I was on a roll. When I mentioned that I played the piano, her eyes lit up. So I decided, to communicate by watching her eyes. Everytime I mentioned something and her eyes lit up, I continued to talk about that subject. A few times, she looked as if she wanted to burst out in conversation but couldn't. She rubbed at the corner of her mouth and started to cry. I knew it was frustration. She so wanted to talk with me but it was like she was trapped inside of the exterior of a hardened shell. I reached out to her and told her that it was okay...that I could understand her just fine. I comforted her and told her that I knew that it must be hard not to say what she really wanted to say.
I asked her if she used to enjoy cooking. Her eyes said not much. I asked about baking. Her eyes said, "yes". Then, I asked if she liked ginger cookies and her whole face lit up. I decided right then, that I was going to make her ginger cookies and I told her so.
I spent all day working on her bills but before I left, I saw her in the dining room and told her that I would be back tomorrow. She smiled at me and this time, I knew, she liked me.
I am touched by the people that God places in my life. She is one of them. She could've been a movie star years gone by or perhaps a politician or someone that traveled in elite circles who probably wouldn't have considered giving me the time of day. But today, I think we both shared a kindred spirit. Her eyes spoke volumes and I'm so glad that we shared that time together.