Last week as I stood in line at the pharmacy counter to pick up my medicines, a hero walked by.
      She stood just slightly taller than the grocery cart she pushed; the quintessential grandmother with pink cardigan sweater draped over her shoulders and purse dangling from the crook of her arm. I got a long look at her styled, grey hair because her spine was so twisted and humped, you saw the top of her head where you expected to see her face. She was in a constant “looking down” position. No doubt, she was well acquainted with pain. One glimpse and I was reminded my pain pales in comparison to what so many people live with.
      She arrived at the end of the aisle near where I stood. Before turning the corner, she squared her shoulders, pulled up her head and looked to see if anyone was in her path. It must have taken tremendous effort. Yet instead of appearing irritated with the challenges of shopping, or the able- bodied people in the pharmacy line who watched her, she smiled. A lovely, gracious smile framed in a flattering shade of lipstick. She seemed so happy to see us and nodded in acknowledgement as she walked by; her own personal receiving line.
      As she pushed her cart down the next aisle, I was grateful to have just enough pain to know a hero when I see one.

(Photo from