Stopping in the middle

I cannot thank you enough for being there and hanging in there with me and my family this entire time. I am back to ask for prayers and positive thoughts for my chemo session this week, and to thank you for all you do to take care of our family.

For today, just a little story from the week:

The other day, I was stopped at an intersection. If you know the Porter Square area, I was stopped on Upland Road where it meets Mass Ave, facing the T station. If you don’t know the Porter Square area, picture a busy intersection crowded with businesses as well as cars, bikes, scooters, pedestrians, dogs…and everyone generally moves seamlessly.

As I sat in my car, first at the light, a 50-something year old woman started to cross in the intersection in front of me. About halfway through the intersection, directly in front of my car, she abruptly stopped walking and looked down at her cellphone. At first, I assumed she was reading a text, but after awhile, I thought maybe she was looking at a map. No problem – I had a red light and wasn’t going anywhere. I watched her with interest. She stood so very still.

Eventually, the light turned green. But she was still standing there, staring at her phone, almost in a daze. I could have driven around her, but there wasn’t much room and that risked startling her. The cars behind me started honking but I was close enough to talk with her.

“You need to get out of the street.”

She looked up at me but didn’t move her feet.

“You need to go to one side or the other.” I also pointed, because I wasn’t sure she understood English.

She scurried back to the corner and we all moved on.

Her actions (or, non-actions) really struck me. On the surface, it seemed like a stupid move to stop in the middle of the street. But I know people who would stop like that if they were lost, or if they got bad news in a text, or if something else suddenly took them out of their physical reality.

It’s hard to know what is going on in someone’s life. Thank you for trying to understand ours, and for giving the leeway for all the unusual behaviors that can surface that may not feel as stupid as they look from the outside.