The Sun Hat Lady

Posted: August 13, 2009 in Stories

So I’m helping my friend move into his new apartment in Encino today, and I’m stopped by an old lady in a blue shirt and a sun hat. She thinks she has talked to me before so she asks me to show her where to go. I explain that I am only there to help a friend move, and she looks embarrassed. It seems that she has lost her way.

It seems that she is very confused.

I ask her if she knows her address, and she admits that she does not. I ask her if she knows the name of her apartment building, and she says that she does. But she does not tell the skinny man she does not know. And I, wondering if she does know it after all, am too embarrassed to ask.

She says that she brought nothing with her – I’m assuming she meant identification or cell phone – and that maybe she ended up at the wrong spot. I tell her that I would be happy to help her figure out what to do, but she decides that maybe if she just goes down the street a little further it will begin to look more familiar.

I am hesitant at her idea, but what do I do? I point out the big Budget truck we are working in, and I make sure she repeats the big numbers on the apartment building. I tell her to come right back to this truck so we could help her find her way, and she agrees to do so.

Then, she was off. She didn’t return. I sure hope she found her way.

I still feel bad that I wasn’t able to help, and I still wonder if I should have been more insistent that we help her find her way home. I offered her a friendly face and kindness, but I’m not sure that was enough today.

I worried for her because I know what it feels like to have lost my way. It is such a scary feeling.

But in the end, time and again, I have chosen the same path she did. Just keep walking. And look for a familiar sign.

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