It’s not everyday the girl in front of me at Starbucks is long, lean, wearing running shoes and almost 80 years-old. Yes, her pure, shiny, white hair was a bit of a clue, but other than that she was all girl. From the way she ordered her decaf cappuccino with a sweet, slow, southern drawl to her gentle, “I think y’all forgot my drink,” when the guy behind us was served first. She had the powdery, white skin of a woman who’s always worn a hat in the sun and the straight posture of a good upbringing.
I told her that she looked much younger than 80, but she gave me the typical, “Oh no. You’re just sayin’ that,” response. I told her that I’d “seen my share of 80’s” and she didn’t even come close. When she questioned my experience with ‘older people,’ I told her about this blog. She sighed and said she didn’t own a computer and that was that. . .
Until I was leaving and noticed that she’d spilled her cappuccino on the floor. An employee was cleaning it up, so I went back and ordered her another one. As I brought her the new drink she was thrilled and said she would, “never have thought to ask for another one.” She asked me to write down the name of my blog and said she would have a friend look it up. As she read what I had written on the scrap of paper, she looked astonished. “Well, how on earth did you know my name?” she asked.
Well, Helen Hudson, you may have seen a few more sunrises than I have, but no one would ever know it to look at you. There. And you can’t take back THAT compliment. I get the last word here. (Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” an Alzheimer’s memoir. http://www.helen-hudson.com)
I just read your “Last Word” and it moved me to tears. Your writing contains that rare combination of deep compassion and wry humor. I really loved it. Keep it up talented lady. i look forward to reading much more.