Friday, January 10, 2014

Getting lost and found in Montreal

My husband and I were standing on a street corner in downtown Montreal, looking for the Metro sign which were told would be right there.  We checked our map again.  Snow was swirling all around us and the streets were full of pedestrians doing their Christmas shopping.  One woman, carrying a big, heavy bag, stopped and asked if we needed help.  She assured us that the Metro station was nearby but we would have to descend below street level through a store across the street and turn left, go straight and then diagonal at the food court.  We must have looked uncertain.  And then she offered to walk us to the Metro stop.  She was on her way to a dance that would not begin for a while, she assured us, as she took us across the street, into the store and all the way to the Metro.  And then, she was off to the dance.  I hope she found some dance partners that were worthy of her.

Welcoming Differences

This morning at the gym, I entered the coffee room and was welcomed by a friend who was chatting with an older woman whom I did not know.  My friend introduced us.  We talked about the meanings of our names for a minute and then the woman asked me my name again and its meaning.  I repeated myself and continued chatting with her.  My friend invited us both to look at her photos from her recent holiday.  The photos were spectacular.  Both of us were impressed. I was additionally impressed with the comfort and grace of my friend in conversation with a charming women who could not remember. 

My late mother suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.  I often noticed that when people, even some acquaintances and family members, first realized that my mother's short term memory was faulty, they turned away from her and did not continue to include her in the conversation.  I felt hurt, watching my mother's exclusion. 

It did my heart good to watch acceptance of a person, challenges and all.