Update: I originally published this post on 8/27/08, back when I was struggling with my symptoms of RA. Today, life is different for me. Physically, I am very capable. Yet, this woman remains an inspiration to me. Last week, while I was out walking with my border collie, two men were sitting on her porch. This is normal. They sit there almost every evening and always say "hello" to me. On this particular evening I decided to stop and talk. Their story is amazing. A Greek family that came here knowing absolutely no English, worked their way up to owning a chain of family restaurants, and now have children who are doctors, lawyers, and accountants. The woman pictured below still knows very little English but the more I learned about her from her sons (three live in our neighborhood), the more inspirational she became to me. She is 90 years old. She has had some health issues of her own, but still gets out and walks from one son's house to the next. She also maintains two gardens at different homes. Her sons said she is the "boss" of the family and has always eaten lots of vegetables and fish, little sugar. Good to know! So happy I finally stopped and learned more about this interesting family and also happy to finally share that their mother has been my inspiration all of these years.
I have never said more than "Good morning" to this elderly woman and I imagine that she would be surprised to learn that she is one of the inspirational people in my life.
My husband has joked about names for her: Moving Snowman (she looks like a snowman in the winter all bundled and barely moving), Spooky Chick,Scary Lady,Car Target, and then, Happy Car Target when I remind him that she is an inspiration to me.
Why does she inspire me? Each and every day, warm or cold, this elderly lady and her walker make a complete (1/2 mile maybe) circle around our neighborhood. On my worst rheumatoid arthritis days, I would look out the window and I just felt motivated and happy seeing her. She moves at a snail's pace, but I love that she gets out and does something every day. This lady motivates me to move, even on my worst days. (Just a happy reminder that I haven't had many bad days in quite some time!!!!)