Looks Can Be Deceiving

A True Story by Clara Wersterfer

Most teens can’t wait to learn to drive. Not so with me. Driving made me nervous. I didn’t get a license until I turned 24 years . As a result, when I first married, we only had one car and carpooled to work. My husband’s hours were different from mine by one hour. I worked earlier. So he dropped me off and went to the diner to drink coffee until work .

Then, in the afternoons, I leisurely walked the three miles to his work place where I waited in his car, reading a book.

One day while waiting for him, I noticed the most beautiful Cadillac pull in the lot. It was powder blue and sleek looking. The kind of car you dream about. I was busily admiring the car, when I noticed the driver. Honestly, she was probably the prettiest woman I had ever seen off the movie screen.

She pulled into the spot beside our car and it was all I could do not to stare. There was a striking resemblance to Liz Taylor. Jet black hair and alabaster skin. Our eyes made contact and she smiled at me. Her eyes were as blue as the , and teeth like an even row of pearls. She was wearing a light blue shirt that just matched her car. Peeking through her long, softly curled hair I could see gold hoop earrings. They had to be gold to shine like that.

A couple of minutes later, a nice looking man came out the building, entered her car, leaned over and kissed her and she drove away.

Sitting there in my jeans, shirt and hair in a ponytail, I wanted to cry. How could some people have it all?

Maybe I would have forgotten about her, but the following week, I saw her again. Then it became almost routine to see her about once a week. She seemed friendly and always waved, flashing a big smile. My envy lingered long after she drove away.

Many nights when sleep evaded me, I would think about the beautiful lady. I wondered if her and her husband ate out, and where they dined, and what she was wearing. I wanted her to get out of the car and let me see her full length. Did she wear really high-heeled shoes and pants, or a skirt.

I would get my answers in a couple of weeks.

Sitting in our usual parking lot, I was holding my book, watching her over the top of it. She was waiting and when her husband came to the car, she called to him. They spoke a few words, and he opened the car door for her to step out. He took her arm and helped her out of the car. I could see very well as she moved to get out. She was wearing a skirt.

She haltingly walked around to the passenger side very slowly, leaning on a walking cane. Sitting sideways in the car, she lifted one leg with her hands and then the other one. The beautiful lady had a prosthesis on the left leg and a on the right leg.

I couldn’t watch them drive away as the were blinding me.

For weeks I had envied this woman and her way of life, while I had been able to walk three miles to our car!

When my husband arrived and found me crying, he immediately asked what was wrong. Through my tears, I told him about the beautiful lady. He said he knew her husband and also knew the story. The beautiful lady and her parents were in a car that either stalled or got caught on the tracks and was hit by a train. Both parents were killed and she was severely injured. She was only 12 years old.

The railroad made a large settlement with her because the crossing had no signals. He explained her car was specially built for her needs as well as the home.

I prayed for forgiveness all the way home. The lady I thought had everything, didn’t. I thanked God over and over for my legs, arms and sight, and for teaching me a early on in life.

When you meet a person who seems to be much better off than you, don’t be fooled. I would not have traded places with the beautiful lady for anything — I still had my parents, and the ability to walk, run or dance through life. Wonderful things money can’t buy.

Copyright © 2010, Clara Wersterfer  — used with permission

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