What I wanted to tell you about was a little old woman I met today. She is 92. She slowly, slowly crept to the door as I knocked and knocked, impatient and young and wondering why who I thought was going to be answering the door was taking so long. This lovely creature who opened up her home to me for a few minutes this morning was not who I was meant to meet with this morning. We had a delightfully repetitive conversation for 30 minutes or so. As we sat together and I went about my task, she went on to tell me about her life, her husband of 50 years who had passed away 3 years ago, her life in Switzerland, a picture of the boat that brought her to America and of her late husband, and that her grandmother was named Emma, twice. By the time I had to leave I was absolutely beaming at her, I am sure, because, how can you not? If I had had the time to sit with her for hours longer, I would have. Loitering in her grace, soaking up her strong and good kindness. Never mind that she couldn't quite remember what she had said a few minutes before. For someone that knows her, for her son, I am sure that is a sad reality. Perhaps even frustrating. But for me, unexpectedly graced with her presence for a moment this morning, I was only impressed at the impact she had made on me. Do you know the most impressive thing about the encounter? Her handshake. It took us a minute or two to walk the few steps to the door but when I turned around to wish her well she stuck out her hand for a farewell handshake and it was firm. Confident. Assured. Albeit, I was surprised. I felt all the self-possession this woman had in her handshake, and saw her in a flashback as young and poised. Radiating.
I couldn't stop thinking about her handshake all day. I am still thinking about it, feeling it. So I thought I'd tell you. When all we have left is just the remnants of who we are, we still are who we were. Our Soul remains to reveal who, exactly. And so does your handshake.