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She'd fallen on the ice and wondered how she'd get back up the steep hill to her house. But a man in overalls was there to help.
“Now, Bernie, don’t go outside alone–not even to get the mail,” my doctor warned over the phone. “These North Dakota winters are dangerous. If you slip, who will be there to help you?”
I appreciated his concern, but... not even for the mail? At 61, I wasn’t as sure on my feet as I used to be, but I was no invalid.
He was right about one thing though. I was often alone. My husband and I had a brood of 14, but they had all flown the nest–and the icy winters of our small town. While my husband was working, I was by myself.
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I looked outside. Over a foot of snow blanketed the neighborhood. Our driveway was a steep slope and needed to be shoveled. Okay, Lord, I prayed. Walk with me.
Slowly, I trudged down to the mailbox and got my mail. Ha! There! Triumphant, I turned back up the slope.
My rubber boots lost their grip. Envelopes flew. Sliding helplessly on the ice, I spun around just barely managing to hug the mailbox. I caught my breath.
“Here–let me help you.” A tall, dark-haired man, wearing only a T-shirt and overalls stood beside me. Who in his right mind would dress like that in this weather? But I accepted his offer.
He held me gently by the elbow, guiding me up the slope, step by step, to my front door. “Thank you,” I said, glancing down at my snowy boots, stomping them on the welcome mat. “Aren’t you cold like that?” He didn’t answer.
I looked up. He wasn’t standing beside me. I was alone. Only one trail of footprints led up the snowy driveway to my front door.
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