I glanced around the station that night and noticed a woman across from me whom I had seen on the commuter busy from Santa Rosa. I got the feeling she might have spent the holidays with her children as well. She caught my eye after the announcement was made and we exchanged eye rolls and shoulder shrugs. A little later when she returned from a trip to the restroom, she came to sit beside me and we began to talk. Her name was Esther and she lived in Klamath Falls, Oregon. She was intelligent, clever and had a great sense of humor. She was a widow in her early seventies. At the time I was in my late sixties and it was encouraging to meet someone old than myself who still functioned successfully -- there were times when I had doubts about how well I did.
We began talking and over the course of the next five hours we touched on most of the highlights of our lives along with just about everything else. Finally, just before we finally boarded the train, she said something that prompted me to take a look at my life from a different perspective. As we gathered up our belongings, she stopped for a moment and said: "You know you should really write your memoirs. You've had such an interesting life, done so many things that most women only dream about. Have you ever considered doing that? I know I'd love to read it."
That was interesting to hear -- I had been writing since I was a child, tearing pictures out of my mother's magazines and writing my own stories to go with them. It was all I'd ever really wanted to do. But my only thought at the time was that Esther must have had a really boring life if mine looked that good to her.