Everyday life ... is ... the only teacher ....
Jack’s old Volvo turns the corner. Motor dies. Oil spills.
Thin 80ish man. Such sweetness.
He’s sure it just needs one little thing. A wire reattached. A little coolant. He fiddles. I talk. I wonder. Do I need to take this problem from him? I ask if his wife knows where he is. I ask is anyone—a brother—he can call?.
“No one I would want to disturb.”
He thinks the car, her car? only needs a jump start. I smile with him. A neighbor is arranging the jumper. He tells me his wife died 3 months ago. He tells me they had a revival of romantic love. He tells me about the minutes and seconds before she died. She asked for a kiss. He gave. She received. That gift. And in seconds he watched her blood pressure drop to zero.
I thanked him.
I already had two grieving people to try to catch that day, that morning, almost that hour.
I didn’t have to take on his car problem. A neighbor did.
My lesson was—I don’t have to take on every problem that the day presents. His neighbor assisted with the car problem—competently, gently, lovingly.
They had to call a roll-cart truck to take her away, the old Volvo. The motor was dead.
Jack needed one person to hear his story. Another to fix his car.