It Was Meant To Be
Very unexpectedly I had the pleasure of meeting and making a new friend.
She was dressed in purple and was accompanied by her purple-colored walker.
Our meeting took place while we were waiting to be seen by our ophthalmologist, Dr. Smith. We sat a few seats apart from each other and I couldn’t stop staring at this vision in purple. I was certain that this woman had an amazing life story to tell and I was more than anxious to hear it. I started the conversation wearing my required mask, hoping she could hear what I was saying.
I complimented her outfit which was so well coordinated with her walker. I also mentioned that I had never seen a walker that color and asked if it was made for her? She told me she has lived her life believing in coincidences and that the walker was another coincidence. She proceeded to tell me the story.
She left her mask hanging on one ear so she could talk freely, and told me how she became the owner of the purple walker. It seemed that the gentleman that lived a floor above her in her apartment building was an artist and painted his walker purple. Unfortunately, he suddenly passed away and hadn’t any family members to take his belongings. The manager of the building knew that she loved the color purple and the timing was perfect. Her own walker was beyond repair and had to be replaced. He offered her the walker and she graciously accepted it. She knew it would blend in beautifully with all her purple outfits.
A true version of a person who favors the color purple is charismatic, compassionate, authentic, and definitely stands out in a crowd. She was that and more. She made it a point to let me know how grateful she was for her wonderful long life, which was being furthered by another birthday, her ninety-ninth birthday in a few weeks. I couldn’t believe that my new friend could possibly be that age. She certainly did not look anywhere in that age category nor did she act it. As to her mental capacity, she told me in a very strong voice, “I am still playing with a full deck.” Everything, about this woman adorned in purple, was fully intact. Our entire conversation lasted about thirty minutes. For me, it was a privilege to have listened to such colorful and descriptive stories of this amazing woman’s past and present. If there had been more time, I am sure she would have shared more of her plans about her future.
As I waited for the doctor in her examining room, I couldn’t stop thinking about this nameless person, a complete stranger who was like no one else I had ever met and would never forget. We hadn’t introduced ourselves and didn’t know each other’s names. In my thinking, I found the perfect name for her.
I named her, from one of my favorite purple-colored flowers, Violet. Coincidently, Violet is an English name of Latin origin that means purple. The color purple also signifies royalty. What a fitting and appropriate name for this royal woman in purple that walked so stately with her purple walker.
After my visit was over, I had to walk through the waiting room and there was Violet still waiting to see the doctor. She got right up from her chair to greet me. If it had not been for Covid, we would have embraced each other with genuine affection. We were both so happy that we were able to meet again. I was delighted to have another opportunity to wish Violet a most Happy Birthday with more to follow. I told her that I didn’t know any centenarians but that could change if we met again next year. She told me where she lived and she promptly invited me to her one hundredth birthday party which would take place next March. I asked her if I could bring purple hats and whistles for the party. To quote her, “How festive, I would love them.”
It was a coincidence that I met Violet that day. I was scheduled for my semi-annual visit with Dr. Smith at an earlier date. Because of a snowstorm, the appointment was changed and I was given another date and time which happened to be just before Violet’s appointment. If I had kept the original date and time, I would have sat in that waiting room, bored to death, waiting for my turn to see the doctor. Instead, I met this one-of-a-kind woman, adorned in purple, and a sight to behold. She was a complete stranger who graciously offered me her friendship and I gratefully accepted it, because,” It was meant to be.”
Rita Nathan Wolfson is a 93-year-old author, poet, and artist. For more than twenty years she created artwork and jewelry utilizing recycled paper, the profits of which were donated to charitable causes. Rita self-published a book that combined her artwork and creative writing: One Liner on Two Lines and most recently, during the pandemic, she has been sharing her poetry on YouTube as the Positive Poet.
Rita began her creative journey later in life, after raising her family. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston at the age of 65, where she discovered her passion for learning. Upon graduation, she became a founding member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute - taking countless classes and leading poetry seminars. She is tireless in her interests and has recently expanded her writing into the short story genre.