Monday afternoon Mrs. Z phoned me, “You will pick me up and take me to the doctor tomorrow morning at 9:30.” This was news to me.
I looked at my kitchen calendar—Tuesday's square was as blank as my mind, but I knew I had another commitment. What was it?
Mrs. Z. continued, “You will take me to the Old Medical Building and I will get…”
“You can take a taxi,” I surmised.
“No, no, I can’t. I have a walker."
“Irene, you didn’t even ask me?” my voice was suddenly unusually loud. I quickly closed the door to Marty’s office. “You phone me and tell me what I must do. I don’t appreciate this.”
“…I am so tired. I have to lie down and rest.”
“Yes, call back after you rest.” There was still an edge in my voice.
“You will be home in half an hour from now?”
What had I done? I had yelled at a 96-year-old woman and refused to take her to the doctor. What kind of cruel unchristian person was I?
Then I remembered my previous commitment. Mary, a neighbourhood friend, would be coming over Tuesday morning to use my clothes dryer as hers was on the fritz. I had already postponed Mary’s visit by a day because I was doing my own five loads of laundry.
I called Mrs. Z. back and quietly told her why I couldn’t help her.
She understood and decided to ask her other lady friend, “…the one who was going to do some shopping for me tomorrow.”
Did I tell you I love Mrs. Z? Well right now, I don’t like her (or myself) very much.