This morning I ventured into my old hood of the Fairfax District. Brooke Banner was doing a photo shoot for T.I.T.S. new clothing line. I was a few minutes behind the schedule as this has been the usual m.o. for me. Upon parking my truck, I quickly made my way to the parking meter. While trying to navigate through the new credit card metering, an elderly lady approached me. She looked European with a thick accent. She had a rolling cart to her side and a sad confused looked. Her English was choppy as her accent slurred the words to almost non-transcribable state. Nerves and frustration of her lack of communication seemed to way heavy on her as her voice quivered from word to word.
She was on the North 500’s block but needed to get to the South 500’s block. She kept mentioning these numbers as I tried to slow her down in hopes of understanding her better. I tried explaining to her how she needs to make her way to the Zero’s of the street then the numbers she needs will come. Then she explains in her now understandable accent, that she was looking for the “Russian Translation Service”. I smiled and asked if she spoke Russian, she said “yes”. And I proceeded to tell her that I can speak it as well. Her saddened demeanor now was lit up with a smile of comfort of “one of her own”.
I told her point of destination was about two miles away. She thanked me and asked me to call this agency. I confirmed the address and location. Then offered the lady a ride. She was adamant that I didn’t need to spend my time driving her. But I insisted in my broke Russian.
Now sitting in the truck, driving to the location. This wonderful little lady made my day, made me think and made me choke up. I was so moved by her that I had to put my sunglasses on just to communicate with her.
The lady is 80 years old. Has been in the United States for 15 years and has been fighting with the Russian Social Services for her retirement the entire time. And has been told “America is a rich country, let them give you money.” Sad, very sad. She lives in Long Beach and was out in West Hollywood, about 25 miles away from her area of residence. I met her around 10:40am, she was dropped off by her nephew in this area at 6:20am. And she has been wondering through these blocks for over four hours. Mind you this story is being told to me by a tired, 80 year old, emotional lady. I was so moved by her. She then says, “god brought me to her today.” I smiled because at this point, me talking was not an option. She kept thanking me and saying how no one would stop and listen to her. All I imagined this person with no phone or real ability to communicate wondering the streets for god knows how long. In the heat. With her cart and emotions on her sleeve.
I helped her 0ut of my truck and walked to the building. She offered to pay me, for which I declined. Once she was inside, I called that office to confirm she arrived and was safe. Afterward I made my way to continue the rest of my day. Driving I didn’t snap at people lacking social skills, I didn’t freak out on people being rude to me. All I thought about how this lady approached me. How she felt I made her day, how “god intervened”, how I helped her and emotionally changed her mood, heart and well being. But what she doesn’t realize is that what happened today was not someone making a difference in her life BUT how she made a difference in mine. I wasn’t brought to her, she was brought to me. I am not a knight in shining armor, she was the angel who opened my eyes.
It’s not what we can do for others because of our youthfulness, monetary accomplishments or what we control. It’s how we can open someone’s eyes, emotions and hearts. This wonderful lady in her moment of weakness made an impact with her soul in my life.
Thank you for validating the goodness hidden in so many ways under our busy, sometimes self absorbed lives. And you did pay me, in more ways then you can imagine.