A Couple of Old Ladies

old-woman-imagesBoth elderly widows lived at the same assisted living facility so obviously they had much in common. Each appeared to be about the same age and seemed to me to have more or less equal health and mobility.   Both sat in their favorite chairs with a blanket covering their legs watching TV.  Even though it was in the seventies outside, both rooms felt like the sauna at the “Y”. Not a hair was out of place on either head. Obviously they had recently returned from their weekly hair appointments. The décors of their rooms were essentially the same. Pictures of loved ones, past and present, adorned the walls; both had land-line telephones, chairs for visitors, goodies for snacking and a box of Kleenex within easy reach.

But the inhabitants of those two rooms could not have been greater contrasts. One was all smiles and answered my knock on the door with a cheerful, “Hello, please come in”. The entire time of our visit there was an aura of a positive and contagious force field around the sweet lady with a huge smile. Her demeanor testified to the delight my visit had brought her. As we talked, I recalled thinking, “Hope I can be this content when I move in this place”.  I came away uplifted and thankful for such pleasant experience with a truly amiable lady.

When I knocked on the other door, I heard a moan-like “It’s open”. When I cracked the door, the woman looked like she had just returned from a funeral. Alas, nothing had changed since my last visit! As we talked, I wondered how long it had been since she had actually smiled. The lady never said one positive thing during our thirty minute “ain’t it bad” conversation. It was all about her pains, her lack of bowel movements, how bad the food is and the lackluster staff.  I came away from her room wanting to shoot myself!

Walking to my car, I tried to analyze the contrast between those two women. I came to the conclusion that the quality of our lives is pretty much an internal thing. Simply put, it is dependent on the daily choice we make before our feet hit the floor.

The story of my  journey to wholeness in my free book  @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

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