It was last Spring on my way to work in the morning when I noticed a woman walking down the street in the rain. I really wanted to stop and ask her if she wanted a ride but I was already running late and I was afraid of what she would think of a complete stranger asking her if she wanted a ride.
A couple of days later I saw the same woman walking on my way to work but this time she was farther down the street. I really wanted to stop again but something inside me said it might not be a good idea. Over the next couple of weeks, I would see her a few more times depending on what time I left the house. It really bothered me that I was nervous to pull over and offer her a ride. Have we become such a society that one can’t stop and offer help to someone even if they don’t ask for it?
I mentioned this to my team at work and they even said to me that it is different today and not everyone would appreciate it, nor do I know who this woman is myself. I still felt a tug at my heart every day when I see her walking as I drove by in my car. She was a bit of a heavy-set woman and all I could think about was how hard that must be on her and obviously, she didn’t have a car. I thought about her quite a bit.
One day I noticed her even farther on my route to work so this woman’s walk had to be at least 5 kilometers if not farther. Whomever she was I gave this woman, a woman I didn’t even know, a lot of credit for getting up every day and going to wherever she needed to go even if it means walking there.
It made me feel kind of lazy seeing her trek along her route daily and even worse that I still hadn’t stopped and asked her for ride.
A few months passed and I didn’t notice her as often but passed her a few times here and there. Maybe she was leaving on her route at different times, I wasn’t sure. Finally, I had talked myself into just pulling over, explaining that I wasn’t a psycho and that I didn’t want anything from her but that if I was driving by and saw her I would be happy to offer her a ride. However, I didn’t see her anymore.
Then during the mild days of winter, I noticed her again walking along the side walk but then I noticed something else. This woman who I watch for everyday was almost half her size since last Spring. As I stopped at the stop sign I saw her wave to the Crossing Guard and I could tell they were exchanging pleasant words as she continued on her way.
Then it dawned on me that maybe she was walking for a reason, in fact, she walks along a bus route which would have been very easy for her to take. So maybe this was her way of getting her healthy self-back. I didn’t feel so bad for not stopping and asking her if she wanted a ride; although I still feel that I should have and if that was her plan to walk then she could have just said no thank you. Either way I was inspired by her and this daily habit of hers whether it was on purpose or not.
Today, I noticed her once again walking down the street and she is looking very healthy. There was a skip in her walk this morning, almost a showing of self-pride. At least that’s what was going through my mind. I smiled. Even though I have never met this woman, I see her daily and I think of her often. Maybe one day I will bump into her unintentionally and I’ll be able to mention to her all these thoughts I’ve been thinking over the past 6 months because she obviously lives in my neighborhood.
To this woman, whomever she is, congratulations on your path to being healthier, whether you intended it to be that or not, you are looking amazing and don’t look like walking every day is such a struggle for you. You are obviously a strong independent woman and I applaud you!