A couple of weeks ago I went over to the small post office in town to do some mailing for Hubby’s business. While I was filling out forms at the corner counter, two women walked into the center. The first woman was well into her eighties, hunched over with long scraggly hair and a scratchy voice. She had a walker with a handy little seat and a bag of oxygen neatly tucked into the basket. The second woman was probably in her late fifties, nicely dressed and obviously came straight from work to help her mom mail a package.
The younger woman picked out a mailing box from the supply center and started to give the box to her mother. At that point, the older woman was complaining about the line, the ache in her back and a million other things. She wanted her daughter to prepare the package for her. It was at that moment when the exasperated younger woman said in a very stern voice, “Mother…it is not fair to have me do all the work for you! If you can’t do it, we are leaving!” With that, she put the shipping box back into the rack and escorted her mother out of the post office.
My blood ran cold for two distinct reasons. Being a full-time care giver for my Mom, I knew very well how much trouble it was for the older woman to prepare for her outing. She was not particularly mobile and ended up getting scolded and not completing her package-mailing task. Even more disturbing was the fact that I could have been that younger woman! I am thankful that the Lord has held tightly to my tongue so that I did not kick-a-fuss like this one but to be honest with you, I have wrestled with the subject of “fairness” more often than I care to admit!
It is not fair that I am dealing with the consequences of my mother’s 50-year smoking habit. Truth be told, she would probably be a vibrant, healthy senior citizen if not for her throat cancer. It is not fair that this is happening when my daughter is preparing for college, needs guidance to her new journey and still wants mommy to pack her high school lunch. It is not fair that I am torn in so many directions when my son will be heading off to middle school and really needs my eyes focused on him so he will stay out of trouble during these challenging years.
Wow! Quite a pity party I have going on up there! This is when I slap myself upside my head and ask, “Who ever told you that life was always fair?” I know this journey is filled with ups and downs and I have a choice on how I am going to handle both. I am humbled that the Lord thinks I am strong enough to manage this season of my life and grateful that He offers a million lessons along the way.
I am also very thankful that I can still look into my mom’s bright blue eyes and help her through this difficult time. I am overwhelmed that God placed Hubby in my life because He knew I would need a partner with a ginormous heart to help in this endeavor. I am honored that I can use this Sandwich experience to teach my children compassion and the value of elders in our lives. I am choosing gratitude today and saying a little prayer for the postal women I encountered.