I sometimes get a lot of dirty looks, and snarky comments walking beside this little old lady, my mom, pushing the grocery cart through the store. She's not being mistreated, neglected, punished or tortured in any form or fashion. She's just too vain to use the walker I keep in the trunk. She'll use her cane, but that didn't help any when she fell, and my back is still feeling the results of trying to lift dead weight. Thankfully a very handsome, athletic looking young African-American male came along to help when he saw me struggling to get her back on her feet. Even with the help, we both struggled but finally got her back up in standing position with her cane. She actually uses the shopping cart to help balance herself, look cool and independent. The old girl has an image to maintain, and doesn't want to appear weak or fragile.
Touching the cart might get your hand slapped away and a royal chewing out or your head handed back when you're both back in the car. Some of her doctors can even vouch for the headed getting handed back part. They've had theirs handed back to them on more than one occasion. She's argued with them enough whenever they tried to convince her the need for some kind of invasive testing or surgery. She's adamant about "no more surgery! Nobody's going to stick a needle in and draw anything out me either! No more biopsies!" And she means it too. And you know what? That's her choice. I have to respect that. The doctors have learned to respect that. The rest? Well, keep your opinions to yourself, because you don't know the whole story.
She survived the tail end of the Diphtheria epidemic as a young girl, but lost a young cousin, and she's survived other eps along the 90+ years she's been on earth. Yep! Diphtheria was still making the rounds in the mid and latter '30s. Although history recorded it differently.
So when you see that little old lady pushing that shopping cart through the grocery aisles, just remember she's doing things 'her' way, and who is anyone else to judge?
I'm just her atta-girl on standby.