I saw her yesterday at church. I remotely remembered the things that she had on, a long skirt — the one that falls down to your ankles — with several layers of clothing on the upper part of her body. Her outfit was clearly mismatched and on the top of her head she donned a worn out gray bucket hat. It wasn’t her outfit that I had paid attention to however — even if it did scream out to me when I saw her — it was the expression on her face that was much more memorable.
Dragging her feet up the stony steps as I turned around to look at her, my first thought regarding her appearance was that “she looks so sad.” Now she wasn’t old or elderly, if I had to guess, she was only in her late 30s. But the expression on her face — which was something akin to pain, sorrow, and regret — made her face looked that much older.
Because we were strangers I couldn’t exactly walk up to her and ask her if everything was alright; so I just let my curiosity go and opened the door, holding it for a few seconds in order for her to enter first (a habit of mine whenever I see someone behind me). She didn’t say anything when she passed, just looked up at me, nod once, and proceeded to enter the building. As the mass went on, I totally forgot about her until the time when the priest took his last steps out the door. As I was opening the door to leave, I again held it wide for the person behind me and was pretty surprise when I saw the same woman walking out with her hat in her hands. Scooting off to the side to let her pass — I expected the another nod from her but this time, she fully turned to me as small smile graced her lips.
“I forgot to say thank you earlier so thank you and thank you again. It’s really the small things that matters isn’t it?”
That’s what she told me before she walked away. I didn’t know what to say so I just smiled and gave her a nod. She never looked back but I know she was right. It’s the small things that really make a big difference. Doing things like opening doors or saying “good morning” to your neighbor — no matter how small the task, as long as it makes the another person smile, it will make everything feel worthwhile.