Sandy DicksonView all articles by Sandy Dickson
The Eyes Have it
Though I didn’t know her, I was right behind her and I’ll never forget her. Her eyes were like big black pools sunken into her pale skin, open wide, but looking alert and scared from inside that round face framed in stark white hair.
Truthfully, I don’t even remember if I noticed wrinkles. Surely they were there, for somehow she looked very old. Maybe she was a bit far away for me to see them, maybe they were softened through the window glass, or maybe she was one of those rare elderly people with surprisingly smooth skin for her years. But her brilliant white hair pulled up into a bun with a soft puff of hair framing her face let me know she was old.
Was she scared? She probably was. What thoughts were going through her mind? I wondered, as she rode backwards in that ambulance I happened to be traveling behind when it stopped at a red light.
It hadn’t been racing through the streets as ambulances usually do, so it wasn’t an emergency, but more likely a routine transport to or from a hospital or nursing home. Still, what was she thinking as she faced those back door windows where I could clearly see her?
She looked so frail; vulnerable and fearful then that I wanted to follow the ambulance to her destination, give her
The light changed to green and the ambulance pulled ahead. I followed until I came to my desired street and turned right. She was still quietly sitting, gazing ahead, probably at nothing. Was she wondering her fate? Was she afraid, or was it my imagination? Was she even aware?
I don’t know, but I can still see her face; her fearful, apprehensive eyes in my mind. They say the eyes are the window to the soul--the reflection of what’s going on in there. Perhaps that’s true. They certainly blazed a trail in my mind that I can still vividly see and it’s 30 plus years later, but I still think of her once in a while.
Her picture in my mind reminds me that I must be compassionate while I can to people that are here. It doesn’t matter whether or not I already know them, in fact, what difference does that make? Just because we don’t already have a mutual acquaintance with someone we might help, means nothing. That doesn’t make people less deserving of one’s love, compassion and good deeds. In fact, the fact that we don't know them would probably make more of a meaningful impact on the recipients of such blessings and say more to them about humanity than if we do because it's not helping out of a feeling of obligation but pure compassion, even to strangers.