Slice of Life Story Challenge March 26 -Encounter With A Fiercely Independent Walker
An Encounter With A Fiercely Independent Walker
In the passing parade of life, we encounter people whom we deem worthy of note. My regular visits to The Filling Station for coffee and social interaction afford me opportunities to meet people. People like Jess, 92 years young, slightly deaf and extremely alert. She is well known in here. the staff love her spirit. She remains widely admired for her enthusiastic approach to life.
This fiercely independent women sits down at the next table and immediately engages me in conversation. I am reading my book when she enters, but I feel compelled to stop out of respect for her presence. I sense she wants to engage me. She smiles and informs me she has been a walker all her life. ‘Walked here this morning. I’ve walked everywhere all throughout my life. Never driven a car. Never even sat behind the wheel of one.’ This is Jess’s impressive CV. I make a mental point to add Jess’s achievement to my growing list of things people have never done.
The conversation opens up and I am able to ask her how she came to be such an enthusiastic walker. ‘Well my husband was always urging me to drive while he was alive.’ she tells me, as if to underline the ultimate folly of his decision. She goes on to explains how she staunchly resisted his appeals. ‘I told him, if I need to go somewhere, I’ll walk. That’s what I’ve always done.’
And so Jess continues walking everywhere she needs to go. It has served her well for these 92 years it would appear. She finishes her coffee and cake and stands up to toddle back home. ‘I’m heading home for lunch at the retirement village. You know they don’t even ask me where I’m going when I leave. They just trust me to come back.’
And as she disappears into the distance beyond the coffee shop, I find myself reflecting in admiration of Jess’s defiant stand. A stand that has served her well. She remains a walker, a talker, out in the world, defying the dimming of the days with admirable resolve.