Today I payed a visit to my podiatrist. Just a simple adjustment to my Orthodox. Helps keep my plantar faciatis at bay! (4 years pain free, knock on wood!)
My doctors office is located in a medical building next to a senior community (Laguna Woods). As you would expect most of the doctors in the building specialize in treating the elderly. Sitting in the waiting room amongst much wiser and experienced patience, it was nice to be the youngest!
Most of the patients were escorted by a care-giver or who I assume was their adult child. I watched a woman (probably 60-something), with grey overly permed hair and those weird beige, plastic looking shoes that old people wear, trying to escort her mother out of the waiting room. Her mother was probably in her late 80's, with thinning white permed hair and the posture of someone who once stood much taller. (She also wore the same lovely beige shoes.)I thought how much patience it took on the part of the daughter to follow next to her mom as she slowly, ever so slowly scuffed along with her walker.
How interesting it is that our roles reverse as we age.
I finished scheduling my next appointment and headed toward the parking garage. I could hear beautiful opera music playing loudly from another building. It was unmistakeably Italian, deep, powerful, full, emotional, beautiful. The sound was traveling into the parking garage and as I approached, I could hear it echoing like a concert hall. It was so moving, so overwhelming I actually stopped walking so I could hear it clearly over the clicking of my heels on the pavement. I stood there listening, actually feeling goosebumps form on my arms. The music got louder and more impassioned. I thought I must have been heading toward the car playing this music.
The vibrato of the woman's voice vibrated through my bones. Such power. Such a gift. I wondered what it must feel like to be able to sing with such perfection. Where was this music coming from? Just then, I turned to see the tiny little old lady who had been in the waiting room with. There she stood, propped against her walker, serenading the parking garage. It was the most unbelievable sight. This tiny frail woman with this enormous gift. Her voice brought all who were walking through the garage to a halt.
She sang two songs. We applauded and everyone went on their way. I tried so hard to hold back the tears. I could feel my chest tighten, tears welling in my eyes. It was just the most beautiful moment, the most beautiful reminder of how precious life is. I literally stood there in the middle the lot with tears of joy streaming down my face. She finished and her daughter went about helping her climb into their giant Oldsmobile. I walked to her car and asked I could give her mother a hug.
Her daughter told me that as a young immigrant, her mother supported her large family by singing in restaurants. She said her dream had always been to be an opera singer. "Now," she said, "she lives for her doctor visits so she can sing in the parking garage. Not for anyone in particular. She just loves the way it sounds."
I thanked this tiny woman with a giant voice for making my day, my week, my month. She smiled, patted my hand and assured me, "God gives all of us blessings. May God bless you."
What a beautiful moment.