I usually see this old woman sitting out in front of her house in the mornings soaking up the sun as she watches the world go by. She lives just up around the corner on Melgar St. and is half way down the block to where my little parrot buddy, Mateo spends his day doing pretty much the same thing.

Today I saw her walking down the hill on the arm of her son and I didn’t recognize her at first as she had her back to me. All I saw was a very stooped ancient old woman with a cane in her right hand leaning on her son with her left.

I was headed down the hill and my next observation was how adroitly she was moving for a woman her age. Her steps were confident and she walked – not shuffled. And it seemed possible that her cane and her son were mostly just there for companionship and insurance.

When I caught up to them we recognized each other and we exchanged warm pleasantries and she told her son that I always stopped to say hello every time I passed her house and saw her sitting outside.

This woman radiates health, kindness and love. I couldn’t stop myself from asking how old she was and she happily replied that she was 96.

And with great sincerity I said to her, “Eres Agradable.” Meaning, “You are very pleasing, very beautiful.” She smiled at me with happiness. And her son thanked me and then they both wished me the best of all possible days.

PS – I see these old people here every day. Lots of people in their ’80s and ’90s who still manage to live full lives. Happy lives. Joyful lives. And it seems to me a great blessing to be here among them.

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