On a gray morning in a February rain, he carried a cane and an umbrella. Her mis-shapen, arthritic hands gripped her wheeled walker. From inside my car at the intersection, I saw a silent version of what was happening between them.

He strode with confidence and purpose across the large arterial intersection. He knew there was enough time to get to the other side. Left behind, her mouth was open, probably calling out to him to wait, to turn back, perhaps not to abandon her in that way. My heart went out to her. He was undoubtedly right in his assessment, and he proved it, but at what cost? How important is it to be right?

Later, I realized that life is always about meetings and partings, that sooner or later, we all feel abandoned in some way. What did that all mean to me? It helped me to understand that life has tough times no matter who we are and that knowing the truth of that axiom, we should try hard to be soft with one another while we may.