Grace of a Lady

I was walking home along Park, when I notice a frail, black woman leaning against the building of a doctor’s office, her hands gripped tightly around her walker.

In her 80s, obviously cold, and boy, was it that.

Last I looked, it was 32 with a wind whipping at one’s heels.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” I gently asked, not wanting to intrude nor alarm her.  It can be tricky helping the elderly since pride is one of the last things they have left.  She looked at me for a second before saying, “Well, I’m waiting to be picked up, but they seem to be running behind.”

“How long have you been waiting?”

“Oh, an hour or so.”  Oh my God, she’s been out in this cold for that long?  I at once, spun into action.

“Were you at the doctor’s?” I knew she had to have been, but again, was moving slowly,
afraid to offend.

“Yes,” she said, so I put her gloves back on that were hanging from her old leather handbag before entering the office.  When I told the staff she was still there, they flipped, running out without coats to get her, she stoically refusing their help.

“They’ll come.  Access-A-Ride always comes,” a bus service for those with disabilities.

I then got out my best Joan of Arc and said, “Ma’am, please wait inside and I’ll stay till they come so they know you’re still here.”  After hesitating, she finally agreed.

In the interim, the office called and they were indeed on their way.  When the little mini coach pulled up, a young Latino man hopped out with the grace of a deer looking around anxiously.  “Where’s Mrs. Yancy? I got stuck behind an accident.”

Suddenly the office door opened and accompanied by two women, Mrs. Yancy appeared.

“There you are Hank…was getting worried about you.”

My eyes filled up as we watched him gently, his arms around her shoulders, help her to her seat.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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20 Responses to Grace of a Lady

  1. micklively says:

    It’s a problem: we old folk don’t like to think we’re a burden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, you’re right about pride. I’m happy to hear that the driver wasn’t neglectful, but a caring young man. How many people walked by without noticing her plight? Thank God you came along.
    The need to feel useful is also important. Ten years ago when dad turned 80 I kept telling him not to do so much, to take it easy and that we’d do everything for him. He replied, “If I’m not of use anymore then why should I still be here?” I then let him do as he wanted, except for when I found him on the roof of his new ‘man cave’ putting shingles on (when he was 85). He’ll now be turning 90 in two months and going strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately I’ve witnessed this on too many occasions. We’ll have patients waiting hours for their rides, fortunately not outdoors, and it amazes me how they wait with grace because they appreciate the service. They are genuinely grateful. Something that is basically extinct in our society. When this generation is gone we’re doomed.
    Glad you recognized her need even if she didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    So sweet of you ! Nice story !



  5. gmg says:

    You and Hank are both lovely people. Don’t change.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You made me smile today. Older folks are often (but not always) very patient. They don’t really have a choice do they? You are right. One day that will be us. I hope some nice young man cares about us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a heart as big as all outdoors. I am impressed and humbled in your (written) presence.


  8. Elle Knowles says:

    I wonder how many people walked on by without giving her a second glance. She’s lucky you came by. We need to take care of the older generation. One day it will be us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gail Kaufman says:

    Oh, Susannah, you are an angel. People in NY typically walk briskly without peripheral vision, and most would not have noticed her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what it’s from, me having senses like a cat, even with my subsequent hearing loss. When you grow up in an alcoholic home never knowing what you’ll walk into, you’re on high alert. My peripheral vision, as you call it, is on overdrive. I miss nothing. A Wright at times. Sigh

      Liked by 1 person

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