I spent the last two hours of my work day on Tuesday on an adventure with a grandma I met on the street. The afternoon started off normal enough – I was stepping out from my office to get some fresh air when I saw a grandma wrestling with a map in her hands so I stopped to try and give her directions. She was flustered because she was trying to settle a medical bill and clearly had no clue where she was going. So I paused. Then asked her if she wanted me to walk her to her destination. I assured her that I didn’t mind, that I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be. That was sort of a lie. I have data to clean and a manuscript to write, with a deadline that’s coming up fast. I also had plans to volunteer that night and really wanted to squeeze in yoga beforehand. Ok. To be honest, I didn’t have much unscheduled time to play with. But do we ever really have anywhere that we need to be? So off we went.
The building we made our way to turned out to be an unmarked skyrise and grandma didn’t have an actual room number that she was looking for. So I went in with her and found an office suite with a nice secretary that was willing to call around the hospital for us. A few phone calls later, turns out Grandma had been given the wrong info – where we needed to be was actually near where we had started. So back we went, stopping at a bench to take a rest. Grandma is 93, but boy was she kickin’. We talked about everything and anything really. Mostly grandma talked and I made some jokes here and there. Old people seem to love my jokes. When we eventually arrived back at our hospital destination, I took grandma in and helped her find the room she was looking for. Then I asked her if she was going to be alright, and she shyly asked if I could stay and help her inquire about her bill. Of course I could. So I advocated for her. And then back towards the exit we went, stopping again to take a break before heading to the bus stop. That’s when we first exchanged names. Details. Details. Good thing grandma was with it, because I totally zoned out for a second and almost sent her off on a bus going in the wrong direction. Oopsies. As the bus arrived grandma (whose name was Helga by the way) and I hugged and she slipped me a $10 as a thank you and to, “put towards my cab ride when I go on my Europe trip.” I could tell it meant a lot to her to give something to me, and so I took the $10. I will put it towards my trip. And that was that.
I went back to my office, packed up my stuff, and had to bolt to make it to my volunteer gig. I didn’t have time to finish my work and I definitely didn’t have time to go to yoga. But you know what? The work was there when I came back the next day… and Helga more than filled the soul connection that yoga brings. What a random string of events. What a random encounter. What a random end to the day. But you know what? It sure feels good when two hearts connect.