Because of the meds prescribed for my post surgery pain relief, I’m not yet cleared to drive. At first, my wife took me everyplace I needed to go but commitments made nearly a year ago required I get help from others where possible. Good neighbor Homer Rue, who’s the epitome of Mr. Available, drove me to the supermarket today and waited when I assured him I wouldn’t collapse.
Once inside, I was actually feeling almost independent, the grocery cart serving as a handy walker (although I’ve graduated to a cane!). In the bulk foods section, I veered to get out of the path of a lady about my age swashbuckling past, commandeering the immediate space around her. As I scanned the plethora of choices in the bins, a sound much like that of a plains hailstorm hitting a tin roof turned every eye to the beans bins. Madame Swashbuckle stood mystified as a stream of pinto beans poured from the gravity fed dispenser.
Gravity operating as it always does, the beans flew like disturbed bees toward the center of the earth. They would have made it, too, had the tile floor of our supermarket not interrupted their flight. Hence, the sound of hail. Madame S. apparently realized she should allow the beans bin to close. The hailstorm ceased. She said something about having something turned the wrong way. Indeed.
Possibly aware that nearby humans waited to see how she would handle her newly created war zone, she did the only thing she could possibly do—acted as if nothing was amiss and skidded her grocery cart over the breathless beans. Doubtful that she intended to initiate any kind of restoration, I said, “I’ll alert staff about this so they can clean it up.”
She gave me a curt nod. Nothing else. No “sorry” or “thanks” or anything. I didn’t need those words. But Madame Swashbuckle needed to say them—for herself.
I continued with my shopping. Turning a corner, I looked up. Sure enough, Madame S. She met my eyes without a hint of recognition. I wondered if she’s on meds, too.
Barry (Bear) has been there to take me to PT or anyplace when Jim or Sharon Erb couldn’t. Keith Scott drove 24 miles from their place to take me to my post-op. We had a great lunchtime at the Homestead Café. Terry Samuel came in from far up the canyon to spend an entire afternoon with me. We worked together three decades ago and hooted about times past. Dave Anderson, who lost his wife a few months ago, came over twice to play cards—what a fun way to forget your ol’ bod hurts. Then he and Dan, his brother-in-law, brought over a stationary bike and filled my wood box. Dan Gescher took me to Monday night Bible Study Fellowship and will do so for as long as necessary. Dick will pick me up tomorrow for trips to the barber shop and pharmacist.
I mention these people ‘cause they are the antithesis of Madame S. They are outer-oriented instead of self-absorbed. Others have stopped by during this rough patch. They put things together instead of leaving chaos behind them. These are not big things that they’ve done. But they tell me I am important enough for them to cover the bases I can’t attend to. Certainly helps in my recovery.
Have you had someone like that in your life? Or have you been that person?