Not all helping moments are planned…except, of course, for designated days—holidays, birthdays, surgery scheduled. In fact, most helpful moments happen spontaneously. With that, they’re “just in front of you.”
Case in point. It was the latter “what can I do to help?” moment that just happened in the HEB Grocery Store lot. I had my list, knew which aisles could help me. Locked my car. As I started for the cart section I noticed a man trying his best to empty items in his cart into his trunk. It was not going well.
He had the body language of frustration. Two packages he couldn’t even lift. No one from the store was there to help. They must have missed that.
So, with no egg-timer on my day doing something good for someone? Give it a try.
I asked the gentleman, who could barely stand up, took a few moments to lift his head from his hunched-over position, and looked at me with some curiosity. I asked, “Might I help you?”
He nodded, “Thanks.” Got to the task of putting bags of groceries in his trunk. Finished, reached for the cart, “Let me take the cart back to the store.”
He put up his hand and I thought he said, still again because of his appreciation for the help, “Thanks.”
I nodded, “Glad to help.” Started to push the cart. He said, “Thanks,” again. I stopped. He looked concerned. Was waving his hand. I waved back. He shook his head. Something was wrong.
I looked in the cart. Oh, my. He wasn’t saying a word of gratitude; he was declaring need. He was saying, a man of few words, “Cane!”
There it was, in the corner of the cart. His cane.
Well, listen. My hearing isn’t that good. And, if he hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have stopped. Because the cart was silver—the same color of his cane. Not that I would have even looked. Sigh.
Okay. Just a moment in the help business. But, thankfully, the gentleman didn’t give up.
The cane is now in its proper hands. And I’m smiling…because to help could have gone worse. But it didn’t.
And now. I need to confirm an appointment for a tooth extraction. Gosh, the day has its up’s and out’s. And I wonder. If the oral surgeon will give me the tooth so I can secret it home and place it under my pillow.