Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Entanglement (Part 1 of 4)

On the 4th of July, 2007, as our family was sitting on the curb in our neighborhood setting off firecrackers, a few families with young kids came out to watch our small show. As I looked over, I noticed an out-of-place spectator. This little old lady--tiny, pale, and skinny (bony! She looked like she could barely stand up!) had come out to watch our “fireworks.” I started talking to her & I remember thinking, “She looks like she needs help.” I said, “I live right over there if you ever need anything.”

A year passed and I never saw her again until the 4th of July, 2008. We started lighting up our fountains and sparklers, and out she came, shuffling along in red slippers, jeans and a blue T-shirt that were humongous for her, and a blue mesh baseball hat covering hair pinned up with bobby pins with a “Werkheiser for Delegate” pin on the top. Her small, gaunt face looked even bonier with this hat that just engulfed her head.

As I write this description of her, I don’t know why I didn’t say to myself, “Oh gee. We’ve got a crazy one on our hands.” Although they would never dress this way, my fond feelings for my 2 grandmothers came flooding back to me. Back when I was at college, I spent many of my weekends staying with my Swedish “Farmor,” going to the temple, helping her with errands, keeping her company, eating Swedish meatballs and cake. I also used to love visiting my mom’s mom in her nursing home in Salt Lake. I even invited a guy I was trying to impress to come with me to visit my Grandma. (Actually, that was a big mistake, but that’s material for another post entirely.) When I wasn’t in Utah, I used to volunteer in nursing homes and visit strangers! I credit those sweet grandparents of mine with the fact that I just love old people. (I hope that’s not all changed now… I’ll get to that. Read on…)

She reintroduced herself as Myra. She remembered me and said she had knocked on my door a few times in the past year, but I had not answered. The same impression came to me that she needed help. We offered her our lawn chair and chatted with her while we watched the neighbors’ Fountains and Aerial Repeaters. The 13-year old neighbor boy was turning into an excellent pyro-technician. By the end of the little show, Myra had asked for my phone number. Her husband had passed away, she had no children, and only one sister with whom she had lost contact & and could possibly even be dead by now. She didn’t drive at all. I was picturing my grandmothers alone, scared and starving. I couldn’t let that happen!

I’d had recent positive experiences with helping out the elderly. I used to give regular rides to the grocery store to a dear, dear elderly woman from Sri Lanka before she moved to another city with her family. I have given some elderly women in my ward rides to medical appointments, so this is the type of thing I thought I was signing up for. I went ahead and gave her my phone number. Home and cell…………… (!!!! What was I thinking? !!!!!!!)

(To Be Continued…)


The monkey bunch said...

Uh, I don't know the rest of the story, but what were you thinking. Anyone that has a story about how they don't have anyone in the world out there and everyone is against them is usually off their rocker! Of course there are those few that really have lost everyone. But if they have people alive and kicking who don't want to see them or even write them a letter, that's a pretty big indication that there is something not quite right! Good luck with that one!

Natalie C. said...

Other than her appearance at that point, this lady really did a great job of making us think she was normal. And heck, for old ladies, appearance is often a little crazy. I'm usually a BIG skeptic, and a pretty good judge of character, so I'm shocked that I was so taken in at that point. I don't know what came over me!

Rob and Jewls said...

Wow, Natalie, I feel like I am reading a novel...please post part 2 soon! You are a great descriptive should start a novel. (this could be a excerpt).:) I am eager to hear the conclusion, althought I do hope you are ok and she is not so nutty that it is scary. -Julie

Natalie C. said...

Thanks, Julie. You are so nice. :)