With the incredible number of people killing each other every day, to say nothing of the now all too common mass shootings, road rage, or folks who shoot a neighbor’s pet, it may be difficult to realize that there really are many good people among us, whom we may not ever get acquainted with nor ever recognize again should they walk past us in a crowd. Some probably just spontaneously rise to an occasion to be helpful with no real forethought.
In the years since I have been hobbling along with a cane, as I walk to or from a store pushing, or soon to push, a grocery cart, I have encountered some of those good people.
One bright sunny afternoon as I was about to step onto the crosswalk heading from my car to the bank, a young lady who had been standing in front of the bank with her little son, called out to me that I should not move, she was coming to help get me across and when she got to me, she circled her arm around me to help support me as we ambled through the crosswalk. I told her I had just gotten shots of Cortisone in my knees and she asked me if I thought it was alright for her to have a sugary snack as she showed me a tiny bag of candies she had in her other hand. I laughed and said “Sure!”
Arriving at the curb another good lady was standing in the doorway of the bank, probably getting a breath of air before going back to her desk. The first lady turned me over to her while she went back to her four-year old posted where she left him.
Inside of the bank the second lady ushered me to a chair along the row of tellers where she said the young man behind the counter would happily help me and if he did not he would have to answer to her. He was laughing..
On his way out the door another gentleman, offered to push my chair closer to the counter, and I was amazed to meet yet another good person.
On another occasion, after getting all the bags into the trunk I was carefully trying to guide a 24 bottle shrink wrapped pack of bottles of water from the child seat of the grocery cart into the trunk without them landing on the ground. I was on my third try when a young man parked opposite me stepped out of his car and asked if he could help.
Greatly relieved, I said yes and in a heartbeat he heaved the package into the trunk and hauled the empty cart over to the carousal for carts. Then he asked if I had anyone to help me with them when I got home. I said I would cut the plastic open and take the bottles a few at a time out, and as I was thanking him, his mom came along and asked if I’d be okay and I thanked her as well and said she had a wonderful son.
Then there was Rudy, a man standing just outside the store, waiting for his sister. Rudy also walked with a cane, but he offered to help me get my groceries into my car if I wold bring my car up to the curb. I said okay and headed off to my car as he stood with the cart. In a minute or two he pushed the cart to catch up with me and offered me his arm as we walked.That is always helpful, so I took it and we walked on to my car. When he finished I thanked him and said Good Bless and he nodded looking surprised and headed back to the front of the store.
One time as I was leaving the local post office, a gentleman offered me his arm as I negotiated the curb down to my car.
As I got to the entrance of a store, a gentleman asked me if I would need a cart when I got into the store and I said yes. He walked ahead of me, selected one and said “Take your time.” as I got through the automatic door. I did not see him again inside the store and I puzzled over him for awhile, wondering if he was from Iowa, or was another veteran, like myself, of the summer writing festivals, since I was wearing both one of the shirts and a sunhat with their logo on it.
Last week as I got to the back of my car to open the trunk, a car pulled up next to mine and I thought that a bit odd since that was not a designated slot for a car. As the door opened and a slim lady in green scrubs hopped out asking if she could put my groceries into the car for me. I said that would be wonderful and unlocked the trunk.
After depositing the bags into the trunk, she spirited the cart away and I thanked her wishing someone would be there to help her when her turn comes, a long time from now. She said she hopes so as she sped away.
While I am always grateful for these unexpected gestures of helpful strangers, I am also awed.