My brother and I never ran past the house that loomed behind overgrown plants on our way home from school. That’s why we were sometimes nabbed by that fearful call from the old lady who lived there: “Yoohoo, children.”
Mrs. Bishop seemed to be at least 120 to us and she’d come to her gate with her white hair and big smile.
“Come in for a minute.”
We hadn’t been raised to be rude and so we filed into her faded parlor where we’d hear stories about her cats and her flowers while being served gritty rubber ice cream or petrified chocolate.
We never knew how to excuse ourselves so we sat, knowing we were late getting home.
Finally Mrs. Bishop set us free and we rushed home.
“Mrs. Bishop —“ I said to Mom.
And she waved her hand. “I figured as much.”
That was it. No lectures or anger.
I didn’t know it then but grace from my mother flowed through us to a lonely elderly woman who only wanted to share a little of her life with her neighbors.
They may seem to loom as ancient and irrelevant, but the elderly blossom with our grace and kindness.