I found myself in Macy’s again, and, despite how it may sound lately, I really don’t shop that much. Anyway, I had made a last minute appointment at the hair salon in the mall and was just killing some time “browsing” and wondering what to do with the hour until my appointment that didn’t involve buying clothes I really didn’t need.
As I pondered the cuteness of a hot pink sweater, I heard a voice behind (and slightly above) me ask, “What color would you say that is?”
I turned toward the voice and shifted my gaze upward to a very pretty and statuesque woman standing behind me holding that same hot pink sweater. I noticed immediately that she was holding a sweater in a size petite small for which she clearly did not qualify as she was well over 6 feet tall.
Maybe it isn’t for her, I think, and I just answer her question, “I think it is hot pink or might be considered magenta.”
“Oh”, she replied, “I’m looking for something that is bronze.”
Well, now I am utterly confused. That sweater she is holding in no way comes even remotely close to being even in the bronze “family”…and then I see it. Her white and red cane. Now it is starting to make sense.
And I ask, “Is this for you?”
To which she replies, “Yes and I am legally blind so it is hard for me to tell one color from another.”
“Well, hi!” I said in my shy and reserved manner (not), “My name is Diana and I was just trying to find a way to kill an hour before an appointment. So let’s go find you a bronze top!”
I discovered her name was Diane and I subtly maneuvered her out of the petite section and to an area with close that fit a taller frame.
We found a couple of cute options – both on sale I might add – and she ended up buying both.
I asked Diane if she had other shopping she needed to do and it turns out she needed to go to another store in the mall for something so I led her there and told her to just follow the sidewalk around and she would eventually be back to the spot where the bus would pick her up because I had to head off to my hair appointment.
That was just an hour out of my life, but Diane is one of those people that you don’t forget quickly. Maybe I helped her some but the truth is that she has completely inspired me!
She obviously sees very little which would be so frightening out in a hectic world, and yet, she gets out and does things on her own. I am amazed at her bravery and independent spirit. Instead of sitting at home telling herself she can’t do anything on her own because of her blindness, she gets up, takes a bus and goes shopping for a bronze top to wear to church.
I realize that there are many people in the world that live very active and independent lives with disabilities and I am humbled by the fear that I might not be so courageous in the same situation. However, there was something about my interaction with Diane that made me realize that I should not let fear keep me from doing some of the things I want to do.
My fears are not nearly as complex as overcoming blindness but they are about stepping out of my comfort zone and into an area that is unclear to me. Much like Diane does every day.
Thank you Diane for inspiring me to step out and trust that everything will be ok.
Has someone inspired you recently?
Tell me about it – I want to hear your story!