The Man I Almost Didn’t See

During a walk yesterday with my friends Helen and her assistant, we turned a corner we don’t usually turn. I was paying attention to nothing more than the trees and houses to our left, when Helen, looking at flora to the right of the sidewalk, spotted him. The elderly man had apparently fallen next to the sidewalk.

He was conscious but disoriented and was able to give us his name. He said he was on his way back to the memory-care center across the deserted street. (Helen’s a resident of the active-senior facility across the next street, and her helper works there.)

We did our best to soothe him as we waited for a staffer and then medics to arrive. He was anxious to get back to his building, telling me it was time for lunch.

Back at Helen’s building, my friends noticed I had been crying. I said it was because the man had looked a little like my father, but I don’t think that was it.

Our lives are fragile. Our minds are fragile.

I guess the moral of the story is this: Always take the unexpected turn.

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