The Kindness of Strangers

Yesterday, I went for my one-week follow-up appointment with the periodontal guy. He said the graft looks great and he removed my stitches. He also gave me more pain pills. I go back in two weeks. By then, he says I should be a happy camper. I’ll be the judge of that.

Afterwards, my mom and I hit the stores for our weekly grocery shopping. When did Easter become a bigger shopping holiday than Christmas? My family never did much for Easter anyway. A basket with some plastic straw and a few jelly beans and chocolate bunnies and eggs. And some real eggs died with onion skins. But the lines at Giant Eagle and Wal-Mart indicated something more than eggs and candy or even family dinner was in the works.

Our last stop was Wal-Mart. We stood in the check-out line for over a half hour. I was in the process of bagging my order when I glanced back at Mom, who was behind me in line and saw her clinging to her cart, almost on the ground. I rushed back to her and caught her and asked her what she was doing. “I’m a little dizzy,” she said. “My knees feel weak.” No kidding. They were going in different directions. I called to the girl ringing my order to get a chair.

I expected the long line of people behind us to start a revolt. Instead, the woman directly behind my mom stepped up and helped me hold her from falling. Turned out she was with Fire/Rescue. To me, she was nothing short of an angel.

We sat Mom in one of those wheelchairs with the shopping cart attached and my Fire/Rescue angel stayed with her and helped her take her coat off (she was over-heated) while her young son helped me get Mom’s order on the conveyor belt. Then he ran and got Mom a glass of water. I paid for both Mom’s and my orders. Then the young man wheeled Mom’s shopping cart, I took mine and the Fire/Rescue mom/angel handled Mom in the wheelchair. She stayed with Mom at the door while her son went to my car with me and helped me load the bags into my trunk. Then he returned the carts to the collection area, where I picked him up and drove him to the door where I traded him for my mom. I told him he was my hero.

The woman’s name is Barb. I didn’t catch her last name. I don’t know how I’d have managed without her and her kids. I didn’t mention her, but the woman’s young daughter took care of their own grocery order in the midst of all the confusion.

The news is full of dysfunctional families and kids gone wild. Let me tell you that there are still good people out there. I met three of them yesterday. Thank you, Barb, wherever you and your terrific kids are.

P.S. Mom is fine. I think the crowds and the long wait and the winter coat in a warm store all got to her. But just to be sure I will be taking her to her doctor on Monday morning for a complete check-up.


Judy Schneider said…
What an uplifting story, Annette! This family certainly did more than help -- they went all out! I'm glad things are okay with your mom. I hope the doctor visit on Monday goes well.

Happy Easter!

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