I went to Wal-Mart to buy some bread and tissues. It was rather late, the employees were focused on restocking and I was navigating my way carefully around pallets, stacks of boxes, and the occassional pile of plastic wrap. I got in line, signed my SSI check, and waited for approval and my change.
I was concentrating on walking carefully to the car. My hips have been very tender of late, as though they are made of spun glass and any sudden jarring movement might shatter them. My lower back was popping and my knees were grinding as though they were sandfilled. My ankles were swollen a bit more than usual. I'm 34. I'm so not ready for all this achiness. But it's coming on, anyway.
Just as I got to my car, I noticed that there were several cars parked out in the further slots of the parking lot. I watched as a woman opened the back door on the driver's side, and lifted a bundle out. It was a child, slumped against her in heavy exhaustion. The woman sat on the trunk and rocked a bit. I almost cried.
I got in my car and drove slowly toward that area. She saw me and was tensed for flight, as edgy as folks have been, I could hardly blame her. I had bought two loves of bread, which is very unusual for me, as I don't even buy bread most times.
When I got close, I parked the car, got out and walked slowly over, trying to be soothing in my movements. I told her that there's not much I can do, but here's a loaf of bread, if that helps. She smiled and thanked me, and kissed her child's head.
I went back to my car. I swear I did not feel one single ache or pain in any of my joints. It's not much, but every little bit helps.