This incident happened Saturday afternoon over at the Heinen's at Pine Ridge Plaza in Willoughby Hills.
The entrance to that Heinen's is like every other grocery store, involving an automatic glass door.
The door is only wide enough for one person at a time. I was in a bit of a hurry.
In the doorway ahead of me was an elderly woman.
She was wearing a beautiful long fur coat, a bright red nylon scarf, and a dark blue hat with some sort of black netting that came down over her eyes a little bit.
Grey hair coiffed perfectly, she was wearing makeup very carefully applied, complete with dark red lipstick, mascara, and eyebrow pencil. The scent of a delicate perfume surrounded her.
In essence, I saw before me a beautifully dressed grand dame, someone's grandmother who knew not to go out of the house unless she was decked out in a way that would make her family proud.
But she was moving very slowly.
Father time had shortened her steps while also diminishing their pace.
I had to stand in that doorway behind her for a good 90 seconds before I could get into Heinen's wonderful food emporium.
I felt the presence of another person and looked behind me to see a gentleman wearing jeans and an Ohio State jacket also standing patiently behind me.
And a few seconds after that an additional middle-aged man joined our entranceway conga line.
All three of us were smiling and all three of us exchanged an unspoken message.
Here was that message: No matter how important our mission, it was important for us to patiently wait for that great lady to make her way into that store.
I think all three of us realized that we were witnessing not a reason to be impatient, but rather a reason to feel proud of the effort it took for this wonderful senior citizen to make her way through the snow and the cold.
Finally, in the store, I made my way to the section that featured dry roasted peanuts.
One of the three men in line behind me came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. He told me that the little old lady who led us into the store reminded him of something his wife told him earlier that day.
His wife reminded him to respect old people because he was merely looking at his own future. The time would come when he would hope that other folks would be patient with him as he shuffled his way through life because of the physical limitations of age.
He was right and I think that all three of us are grateful for the lesson we learned from that woman.
God bless you, madam. May I become elderly with elegance like you.
And may I continue to have patience with those that are just a bit slower and a bit wiser than the rest of us.