Tonight, I struggle to find a story to tell.

While sitting in traffic on my way home from the gym, I noticed a woman in a motorized wheelchair making her way down the sidewalk. She was alone. Her beautiful white hair blew in the crisp March breeze. Her ears were covered by the kind of earmuffs that go across the back of the head instead of over the top. She was impeccably dressed in white slacks, fashionable shoes, and a tailored coat. Her legs were very thin. I wondered where she was headed and where she had come from. I know the area, and there are no residences close by.

The traffic was slow, as always. She was making pretty good time and passed me a few times as I inched along. She seemed to know the bumps and places to avoid as she navigated the frequent car entrances. Car dealerships, restaurants, Walmart, and a few hotels line this stretch of road. The subway runs above ground down the middle of the highway. Had she come from a hotel? Was she headed to the subway? Why was she alone?

I marveled at her apparent independent spirit which would take her out on a blustery day at rush hour. I hoped she was meeting a friend. Did she have children? Would they worry if they knew she was out alone?

Then I wondered if I had need of a wheelchair, would I be a brave and independent woman?

10 thoughts on “The Woman on Route 7

  1. This is a great slice because of your noticing and connecting. I can visualize this brave woman by reading your words, and I wonder the same – what would I do?

  2. I love that you took the time to closely observe and be a witness to a stranger who captured your attention and wonder about her. Such an impactful slice and strong imagery!

  3. A situation that so easily could have been overlooked and ignored. Instead you really thought about, and felt something about this woman. Great read!

    1. You’re right. I did feel a lot. Approaching the third third of my expected lifespan brings up many questions about how I will handle the many unknowns of the future.

  4. You start out saying you are struggling for a story to tell, but the story is there when you see the woman in the motorized wheelchair, and you attend to what you see. This is what is so wonderful about the daily slices of life — getting us to be more aware of what is happening around us all the time. Thank you for this story.

  5. You manage to keep your description of this woman pretty non-judge mental, which adds to the power in your piece. As I read it I was also wondering about myself. As one blog is titled, ‘courage doesn’t always roar.’

  6. I really enjoyed this slice. I could picture her so clearly as she sped down the side walk. Very lovely read, especially as you were at a loss for what to write!

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