Sunday, November 28, 2010

Elsie

Remember that pink scarf? Elsie, the knitter, came into the store yesterday for her birdseed.

The first time she'd seen me at the register, she'd peered up at me closely and said, "Are you that Debby who writes in the paper?" I'd said, "Yes," and she said, "I love your stories. I often read them and think that I should call you. It just seems like you'd be so easy to talk to." She was lonely. I could tell. I'd told her to feel free to call me, and then promptly thought no more about it. She had though. I'd written a column about that pink scarf for the paper. The gist of it was that I thought that I'd learned a valuable lesson from cancer, about the importance of people in my life, yet as soon as I got back into the serious business of living, it happened once more: I was so busy that I didn't have time for visiting, and for phone calls. I had a stack of cards on my dining room table waiting to be filled out (hi, Jayne...) but no time to do it. I was studying and working and...well...then an elderly lady walked into the store with a scarf that she had knit thinking of me. Fringed, thinking of me. Driven to the store, thinking of me. The gift is dear to me. I was touched. I was also shamed at my own busy-ness. I vowed once more not to forget the importance of the people in my life.

Yesterday, I greeted her with a big smile. "Hi, Elsie!" and she smiled shyly. "Thank you for your article. I was so surprised." I told her that every word of it was true, that that pink scarf reminded me of something very basic, something that I seemed to have a hard time remembering. I thanked her once more for my scarf and for the gentle lesson that God had given me through her busy little hands.

We clutched each other's hands, for just a moment, and then she had to go. There were customers waiting.

Everyone needs to feel like they matter, and I went back to work vowing to do better at remembering that.

7 comments:

Kelly said...

"Everyone needs to feel like they matter"....

How true, how true.

Jill said...

Debby, how true that is.
The other day I got a card from my sister and in it she wrote:
Sometimes we just need to know that people care. If this is one of those times, I'm one of those people.
It came just at the right time when I needed a lift after my recent surgery.
It's nice to know that people do care and I know I try to give back as well.

Hugs
Jill.

Grahamn Kracker said...

And you know what, Debby?

Many has been the day when you have caused me to feel like I matter.

PS: The option for me to log on as Bill of Wasilla has disappeared from your comment page.

Mikey said...

I just love everything I read here. *Big sigh....* you always do that to me Debby. Make me think.

Jayne said...

You and Elsie are good people xxx

Debby said...

Yep, Jayne, there are good people everywhere. Even in Australia. And Alaska...And Arizona... And Arkansas... And Canada...

Gees, Bill, I'm not sure why it would affected you, but I'd blocked anonymous commenters for a while. I unblocked it. Try now. I've been thinking of you a lot lately. Take care of yourself.

*walks off muttering...'and Texas, and California...and Washington...and Maine...and New York...and Michigan...and Wyoming...and...*

Lydia said...

So true -- that is a good lesson, Debby, to keep others in mind and prayer AND to let them know. Our own business can keep us separated from so many people.

How nice that Elsie could be so touching to you, and you could touch her right back. There is some symmetry in that. :}