Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She was standing beside my car, her hands gripped on her metal shopping push cart when she started to speak.

I quickly glanced up at the woman in the next parking spot as she was slowly backing out. She was watching, waiting to see what would come of this old woman, with crazy silver hair and her shopping cart filled with a toilet seat lid and other miscellaneous items.

She was watching us, and I was searching her face for recognition that she knew this old woman. She pulled away with the same puzzled face as I wore.

She spoke so fast with a deep, harsh voice, it startled me.

'Give me ride? No?' She asked in her heavy accent.

'Where to?' I asked. Glancing nervously around as I start to load my groceries in the car.

'You put my stuff in your trunk, no? I give you money. I walked. To look.' She's pointing towards the back lot of the grocery store.

I have no idea what she's talking about. I'm just looking at her trying ot decide what to do.

In her broken English, I see just an old woman wanting a ride.

She's freaking me out a tad though, and I'm having this inner dilemma.

I have a car full of groceries and I have no idea where this woman wants me to take her.

I blurt it out. Ashamed even as I speak and point over to the Target next door. I need to go there , I tell her. And, I watch her face.

'Yes. Yo go. I walk, Miss.'

Oh my goodness, Why did I say that? The weight of guilt is feeling like a thousand pounds. Why am I not giving this old lady a ride?

I sit in my running car questioning my reluctance and then I make a decision.

I pull slowly around towards the front of the parking lot, searching for her. She couldn't have walked too far. And then I spot someone loading her cart and items into their trunk.

I feel so small.


  1. Ugh Jen--that's a tough one! I totally understand hesitating on giving her a ride. But you thought about it and changed your mind--and you would have done it if the other person hadn't. Don't beat yourself up!!

  2. Don't feel bad, you never know who you can trust!

  3. I have had the same feelings that you are having - wanting to help, but at the same time not sure if you can really trust the person. I guess I always try to trust my instincts and if there is any doubt I don't do it.

  4. Moments like that are so tough. I agree with everyone else, there's no reason to feel bad.

    I'm always leery in those situations too. It's one thing if my husband (or somebody else) is around, but it's different when I'm alone.

  5. That is a tough one. I'm usually too slow to make up a lie and so I do it - but I'm still not happy with myself for letting a stranger in the car. . .

  6. I feel terrible in these situation too. I want to help...in church we are told it is our job to help when these situations are put in our path. And I try to when I can. But since I have had the kids, those situations involving stuff like that DO unnerve me, and it is not worth you getting hurt and your kids not having a mom to raise them because a unsafe thing happened. (I watch too much 20/20..I know) But for my kids, you can never be too safe. I try to always help if I feel it is safe enough. If it jeapordizes me at all, though at this time in my life I don't. And I feel bad too:(

  7. Oh, that's tough. So hard to be both what you want to be and safe at the same time.