Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Occasionally You See The Face of Humanity

Last evening I made my usual stop at the grocery store on my way home from work. It seems that everyday there is something that turns up empty or low in the pantry and fridge. Some of you know how it is with teenagers in the house. We consume (not me mind you) on average a gallon of milk a day! Let’s not talk about the 3-4 boxes of cereal, cartons of frozen waffles and peanut butter. Tonights stop is for paper towels and trash bags, so far! Anyway, as I wandered around the isles of the grocery store I noticed at one of the registers a small gathering of people. One young man was on a cell phone, two or three others were standing near him and looking at the isle between two of the registers. As I got closer I could see Kim, one of the regular cashiers and the front-end manager. Kim is always making small talk; she is full of life and has the most amazing, blazing red hair. She was kneeling on the floor cradling an old man in her arms. His head was leaning in the crook of her arm with the rest of him sprawled on the floor. He was ashy, breathing shallow and speaking very softly. Kim was speaking to him and also to an elderly lady who appeared to be his wife. The ambulance arrived and they determined they would take him to the hospital. I was in the check out as this was going on. I watched as one of the EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technician-for my British Friends) spoke to his wife. Anyone who watches people often can read things on peoples faces that most people never notice. As this EMT asked the wife for his date of birth, medical history etc. I watched her relive moments of her life with him making it difficult for her to focus on what the EMT was asking her. They brought in the stretcher and because of his location between the isles, they asked if he thought he could stand. He nodded, but with his eyes closed and his breath a bit labored. One of the other EMT’s tried to get into the isle to help but Kim waved him off and helped him up by herself. Kim is no taller than 5 feet and just a bit of a woman. She walked with him to the stretcher, asked him his name, told him she would pray for him and kissed him on the very top of his head. It is important to notice this type of thing. The norm seems to be to go about your everyday noticing only the assholes that you have to deal with. Usually it is because they are in your face or in your space. It is nice when you are treated to a bit of humanity.

12 comments:

dive said...

That's a beautiful story, Prudence.
People do seem to pull together in adversity.
Kim sounds wonderful. I do hope the guy pulls through and that you see him and his wife shopping there again.
Have a chat with Kim in a few days and let us know if she's heard anything.

Dear Prudence said...

I go there almost daily so I will keep you posted.

David said...

A lovely story. Life is full of blessings and as I believe that one of them is the ability of other people to surprise you with things like that. Thank you for sharing.

Dear Prudence said...

I was touched David and thought I would share this experience so perhaps more people will notice when humanity peaks out from our everyday norm!

zirelda said...

That was really sweet of Kim. Humanity should rear it's head more often.

Maria said...

I love it when humanity works the way it is supposed to....

Kate Isis said...

I was pretty much going to contribute with all of the sentiments written above.
Good for Kim for having a heart and good for you for blogging it, thats another face of humanity right there prudence.

Rich said...

Good story and ya gotta love living with teens uhg!!

Scout said...

wow, Prudence. That's an amazing event to witness. I'm glad both the man and his wife had kind people around them when they needed help.

Old Knudsen said...

what a perfect time to shop lift they were probably professional diverters.

M.Benaut said...

Kim sounds like a wonderful girl, Prudence. Thanks for sharing your experience. Since we're all headed in the same direction as that man, in one form or another, your story not only stresses the humanity of the carers but also the frailty of each of us and the inevitable mortality. Well done, Dear P.
xxx Mme B

lynn said...

Very touching, dear Prudence.