Sometimes walking down my three steps challenges me. Last night I remembered that I had come home with my paycheck. I pictured it sitting on the front seat of my car. I imagined the Delta wind whisking the envelope onto the blacktop of the gas station in Flag City on Saturday morning. I would not notice as it fluttered away.
Despite the searing pain in my right hip and the frightening wobble in my legs, I eased myself down those steps and skittered the twenty feet to my car. I glanced to my right, and caught a glimpse of the night sky. After retrieving my check, I made my cautious way back inside to get my camera. Then I gingerly traversed those same steps to capture a photo of the setting sun.
As I stood taking pictures, a figure appeared on our road. Sally, from the far side of the park, approached with her little dog Buddy. We exchanged a few words about the beautiful sunset. She asked how I had been. For some reason, I found myself able to be honest. I admitted that I had not been doing well, acknowledging the hows and the whys of my see-saw neurology in a few short sentences. Then Sally spoke of her weekend plans, her daughter’s travels, and visits to the church on the hill just outside Rio Vista.
After a few minutes, I realized that I had grown cold. I said goodbye. Sally hesitated, then offered her services and that of her husband, should I need anything done. I found myself accepting her gracious suggestion. Then she continued on her walk, and I went back inside, to the warmth of my small space. I managed the steps a little easier this time.
It’s the twenty-third day of the sixty-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.