Two 61st Birthday Presents

I turned 61 a few days ago.  This morning, for the first time since my birthday, I rode a city bus in Chicago.  I was lucky enough to actually get a seat.  It was in the priority seating area, but it was a seat. 

At the next stop, a few more passengers boarded.  Most were forced to stand.  One standing passenger three or four feet from me was several months pregnant (two weeks from delivery).  I caught her eye, motioned to my own seat, and asked if she would like to sit.  She looked at me, smiled and said, "No thank you."  She then glanced about and added ever so quietly, "But it would be nice if someone younger had made the same offer."  I chuckled, and we had a brief chat about her due date and upcoming delivery.

She exited a few stops later, and I was left with the bittersweet memory of a kind young woman who decided that she was better able to stand in a moving bus.  I swim competitively and can easily stay on my feet during a short bus ride, but apparently at age 61 the world is beginning to think otherwise. 

Even though I will never meet her again, I would like to thank the young lady for her two birthday gifts—a bus seat and the realization that a woman who is 8 1/2 months pregnant was more worried about my safety than the safety of her unborn child.