I looked out my window this morning and although the weather looked a little less than inviting, it did not in any way look foreboding, so grabbing my camera, and throwing a sweater and a hoodie on beneath my leather jacket, I headed out for a walk through the neighborhood just to see what everybody was up to with Christmas now only a mere 8 days away.
I had only gotten about a block from my place, and I was thoroughly enjoying the pleasant surprise that I had discovered in the warmth of the mild breeze and the overall gentleness of the weather around me, when I spotted old Ivan approaching in the new motorized wheelchair that he had gotten from Social Services a few months back. Even though he could really scoot in that sucker when he felt like it, I guess he was enjoying the weather too because he was wheeling even slower than I was strolling.
“Hey, what’s up Ivan,” I asked, as he got within hearing range, “you know you’re breaking the speed limit?”
“Well if you’ve got the power, you might as well use it,” he said with something like a chuckle, “so what have you been up to?”
“Not much. And you?”
“I had some surgery done a couple weeks ago”, Ivan informed me.
“Really!”, I said, “For what?”
“I had a partially clogged artery, they had to clear it.”
I said, “Well, I guess everything went alright, you’re talking to me.”
“Yeah,” he said, somewhat sadly, “but I can’t play piano now.”
As I took in that last piece of information, I had to think about it for a moment before I said, “Ivan, I don’t think you ever could play piano.”
“I know,” he said, still sounding somewhat sad, “but it would have been nice.”
I thought about that for another moment or two, then I reached in my pocket and grabbed a couple toonies. I reached out and took Ivan’s outstretched hand and placed the toonies into his open palm. Then I closed his fingers around the toonies, gave him a pat on the shoulder, and as I left I said, “Sorry about the piano-playing man.”
The last thing I heard Ivan say was, “Thanks for the compassion man, you’re real people.”