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.