After a brief rest, she slowly began to climb the stairs. She reached the first landing and I thought, “Glad she made it. Wait. Why did she not go in the door?” I then stared in disbelief as her head poked up on the stairs again. She must live on the second floor! Slowly, she worked her way up. Again, she ignored the door and shuffled towards the stairs. Sure enough, her head crested the wall of the stairs as she continued upwards.
At every floor I told myself, “She’s home, right?” Every time, this elderly lady defied my logic and continued up the stairs. Her home is the fifth floor, the top of her apartment building.
In our area, many people have lived in their apartments for decades. They have raised their children, watched them leave home, and then continued living in the same apartment. That lady has likely lived in her fifth-floor home for decades, walking up and down them carrying groceries, children, birthday presents, letters from friends, and bills to pay. Climbing five flights of stairs became part of her life.
For me it was a great reminder that doing something hard can become a habit. Struggling to do hard things when we are young (or younger) can provide the habits and strength to continue doing it later in life.