Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

I had an encounter of the "real" kind last weekend. It wasn't an alien sighting or Big Foot but "it" had a profound affect on me.

Walking to church, I noticed an elderly lady sitting on the curb in front our house. She appeared to be in her 90's, wearing a tribal dress. I thought maybe she was just catching her breath but by the time we came home from church, she was still sitting there.

Life continued and a few hours later, J came in and told me that she was still out there, sitting. She had moved though, onto our driveway, behind our car. Something stirred inside of me and I grabbed a styrofoam cup and filled it with ice and water. I wanted to hear her story and find out why she was there.

I walked towards her as a little guy on a bike was talking to her. "Grandma, you need to go home. Go home, Grandma!" Grandma mumbled something and didn't budge.

I asked, "Does she speak Spanish?"

The little guy replied, "No."

So, I held out the cup and she shook her head and patted a huge jug of water that she had beside her. She mumbled in an island tongue that I wasn't familiar with.

"Does she need something?" I asked the little boy.

"Do you need something, Grandma?" he asked.

She continued to look at her fingers, ignoring him. I stood still for a moment and then retreated back to the house, figuring that she maybe needed some time alone.

By 9:00 pm, she was still sitting out there. By then, she had put a hand towel on her head. She sat vigil on the driveway, not looking the least bit bugged that the sun had gone down and she was more than likely a snack for mosquitoes.

By 9:30, I looked out the window and she was gone. Disappeared!

Then there was a knock on the door. Grandma's relatives were wanting to know if we had seen her. It seems that she was "missing".

I went to bed, worrying about Grandma. What was it that made her camp out on our driveway? Was she lonely? Hungry? In need of a quiet place? Was she being abused? Did she feel loved?What was Grandma's story?

The next day, J walked in the door from work and he said, "Good news! I saw Grandma. She was sitting on a brick wall down the street."

I was relieved...puzzled but relieved. She was okay.

I see Grandma sometimes, down the street while the kids are riding their bikes around her. I wonder about her life story. What makes her smile? What were her fears growing up? Does she miss "home"? What makes her laugh? What makes her cry?

I may not ever get to hear Grandma's story but she touched me. She is my reminder that "everyone has a story to tell".

What is yours?

22 comments:

Ganesh Chella said...

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Mari said...

Glad they found her and she was ok. I'd like to hear more about her too!

Brian Miller said...

everyone does have a story to tell...i think i would like to hear hers...interesting interations with her and the fam...def leaves me with questions...

Shelly said...

I would have loved to have found out her story, too. Real people are infinitely more interesting than tv.

MissKris said...

Even if I don't know their stories, I make them up for them as I travel thru my day. I see someone drive past in a car? I find myself wondering what it was like for them growing up, if they had happy childhoods. Have they lived here all their lives? I have a very busy imagination. :-)

Buckeroomama said...

She sure sounds like someone whose story I'd love to hear.

I'm like MissKris... in that I make up stories in my mind for the people I meet. :)

Chatty Crone said...

I wonder about her story too. sandie

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow I wonder what her story is....I bet its a good one! I'm happy so is safe...

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'm just grateful to hear that she's safe, but it's worrying. I too wonder what her story is.

SouthLakesMom said...

I wonder what language she was comfortable in. I wonder why the grandson didn't tell them where she was. I wonder where she lives and where she came from.

Sigh...gonna have to make up another story now.

Ina in Alaska said...

Very interesting. She must live nearby with family members. I would like to hear the rest of her story too.

2 years ago, Halle the Diva, my friend Daniel and I were driving around our neighborhood putting up garage sale signs. We had posters and a hammer in the car with us. We noticed a very well dressed elder Asian lady sitting on a curb near a main road. This did not look right. She had beautifully coiffed hair, her clothes were clean and nice and she was wearing nice jewelry.

We stopped to ask if she needed help. She spoke not one word of English! Daniel and I worried about her so we managed to get her into my car(we put the hammer in the back of the car so she would not be alarmed). I called a Korean friend who spoke with her but my Korean friend said she sounded not quite right. Next we called the police - meanwhile we had another good Samaritan stop and join us while we waited for the police. They came and took her away. I never knew what happened but felt good that we did not leave her sitting by the side of the road.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

oh how I would love to hear her story....We sometimes forget everyone has one....Lord help me not to walk past stories that will change me

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Now you've got my curiosity going too. I might be tempted to go over and knock on their door and ask a couple questions, out of concern. Like: Is there anyone you can call if you see her wandering? Maybe you could learn more of her story and then tell us. This is like the old Paul Harvey "THe Rest of the Story.."

Joanna Jenkins said...

How interesting... I wonder what the story is too. And I'm glad that you've seen her from time to time. Hmm, I'll be saying a prayer former tonight.

I hope you and J have a fun Father's Day weekend.

xo jj

Relyn said...

What a wonderful reminder. Everyone does have a story to tell, but it takes a special, loving heart to remember it.

Petula Wright said...

I'm like MissKris, I make up people's stories as well. Everyone does have a story to tell... it's up to the rest of us to listen and really hear what they have to say.

Great post.

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Stacy said...

I wonder about people's stories, too. It's why I chose journalism when I went to college. I never finished the degree, but I still wonder about people. As for Grandma...the wondering of why she's allowed to roam would be eating me up. Is she getting proper care? At what point do they decide she's been gone long enough to look for her? Why do they let her roam at all?

Leslie Payne said...

Isn't it amazing? Everyone has a story and the Lord knows each and every story in detail. I love how he writes stories with our lives.

Sweet Tea said...

A real mystery - I hope you eventually find out more about this woman. Interesting, and it makes me very curious.

Anita said...

There used to be a TV show where a man threw a dart (I think) at a map and then went to whatever city it landed on. Then he went through the phone book and randomly picked someone to contact and to get "their story." I saw it a few times and was fascinated. People don't think they are interesting. The interviewer showed them that they indeed were, because as you said, everyone had a story.

Maybe you "will" get to hear her story. :)

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