I’m a walker. Although I live on the beach, I prefer to walk along the bay. I like walking bayside because I like the small town sense of community I feel as I walk through the neighborhoods along the water. I see many of the same people each time I walk. I know the local dogs; a few try to follow me home😂
Every weekend I see a well dressed older woman sitting on her steps drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. We always say “Good Morning” but this morning I found myself intuitively following up with “How are you?” Well, 20 minutes later I walked away knowing our paths crossed for a reason. I’m still not sure if I needed her or she needed me. I do know for sure there was something spiritual about our conversation.
She started off by telling me she enjoyed seeing me in the morning because I smile and I’m friendly. I complimented her jacket which had blue roses on it which matched her beautiful crystal blue eyes. Blue Roses are my favorite flower by the way. This delicate little woman was even wearing pearls and earrings while sitting on her steps outside at 9:00am drinking coffee and smoking her cigarette on a Wednesday morning 😄
As we chatted I mentioned that I quit smoking five years ago. She replied, “I quit drinking 34 years ago!” And that’s when it happened. That’s when I knew she had a story. In that moment of complete awareness I stopped and listened to her with focused attention realizing a truly beautiful spirit sat in front of me. She was my blessing today.
Over the next 20 minutes or so she told me she was a bad alcoholic 35/40 years ago and she ruined her life and marriage. She moved to her current residence because the community had a large AA network. In the early years of her sobriety, she went to meetings four times a day. She knew if she didn’t go to the meetings, she would never stay sober. She told me it was the scariest decision she ever made but she also knew she had no choice. She told me how she struggled early on until she gained traction. She also told me she never took her sobriety for granted. She knew it was a choice she would have to make every day. She then explained she doesn’t need meetings anymore because she knows her sobriety is solid. Then she smiled, looked at me and said, “July 16th is my day and it was 34 years!”
I could feel myself welling up. She was so quietly inspiring. A true beautiful warrior spirit. At this point I shared with her, that I had some health issues a few years ago and stopped drinking five years ago; November 25th is my day👍 I was not an alcoholic. My reasons for stopping were because it was bad for me. It was causing my stomach problems and it made me depressed. It was holding me back. It had to go. My new friend completely understood what I was saying. Many friends even my family don’t understand me making that kind of choice. It was holding me back and it had to go. That’s it…She got it!
As I said, I’m not sure who needed who today. But I know with absolute certainty this beautiful little woman, with crystal blue eyes, pearls and a blue rose jacket who was sitting on her front steps drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes was put on my path for a reason. If nothing else she reminded me to wear my pearls on Wednesdays and also reminded me of the beauty of the human spirit.
I hope we can chat some more in the future. Just think, it all happened because I took off my headphones and said, “How are you?”
(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life Is Best When Lived Passionately