I saw the silver-headed woman limping from a distance. Her attentive husband, with one arm around her waist, coached each step and made her giggle as they walked. As we passed, our eyes met. Something moved between us—perhaps I saw a glimpse of the impartation of the gifts of this older woman. (This can happen occasionally if one really pays attention.)

We looked at each other in mid-step, and the woman offered an easy yet tired smile. We were strangers among many strangers on a shopping journey in a parking lot, but my eyes clamped onto her to perceive, to know more.

I witnessed a struggle in that woman to go forward and yet a lovely life spent from the kind of sacrifice only a mother or grandmother knows. The listening ear when no one hears, attention to detail, the bounty of love poured-out over and over on floors scrubbed, meals cooked, presents given, tending the sick, and standing watch alone at night. All done for family, friends, wanderers. I pondered that this women is spent but not as the diminishing of an image on a coin after years of handling, rather as a life offered in generosity. The value of the exchange has became weighty as the price one gladly pays for an extravagant gift. She chose to spend—to exchange—her life well. I thought to stop and thank her, but it would have been meaningless coming from me. Then I remembered my own mother at home, and I knew that I should thank her for a life well spent. Indeed.

©️Bonnie Saul Wilks

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Once again so well written to capture each one who reads what really is a life well lived. I think of the woman Jesus noticed in the temple and her simple offering. In this season of life I am endeavoring to not miss those moments.

    1. Bonnie says:

      Jeff, once again you deeply encourage me. Thank you!

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