We only had a few items so we were in the 'less than' aisle of the grocery store. There was only one person ahead of us. I paid no attention to her as I dumped out items on the conveyor belt. Only when the bag was empty did I notice that she was busy with the clerk trying to send money through Western Union. The clerk hadn't done it very often and was taking a very long time. The woman wasn't from Canada and the clerk was suspicious of her Identification Card.
Finally Joe, who was standing behind me, leaned over and whispered, pass them over to me in the next aisle. I then saw that that lane was free so I picked the groceries up one at a time and handed them over to him and he then placed them on that belt. The woman looked at me and almost cried with frustration. I knew she felt bad about taking so long.
Now, in truth, I had been bickering in my head about this. I always get in the line with someone who NEEDS something and takes FOREVER. Why does this ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?? In truth, I was saying nasty things about the wait. Then she looked at me with apology in her eyes. In a second I managed to think, 'It's Saturday, you aren't in a rush, you are comfortably seated in your wheelchair, what difference does this time make?'
So I said, 'Don't worry, everyone has a right to get their business done.' She smiled a genuine smile. She then stepped back so I could drive by. I waited for Joe and then we wandered through the food court for a bit before deciding to have lunch at home. As I was leaving she rushed up to me and spoke.
"Thank you for your kindness. You don't know what it meant to me to be treated so nicely right then. You must be a truly wonderful man.' Then she, impulsively hugged me. I'm not a hugger. But I let her hold on to me for a second. I could almost feel the sea of despair around her. I felt strong, like a rock, and when she needed me no more she let go. Brushed tears from her eyes and ran off.
All the way home I kept thinking about how she thought I was someone I wasn't. I had thought of her with annoyance even though I spoke to her with kindness. I wished I was who she thought I was. I want to learn to be authentically kind all the way through - beauty may be skin deep but kindness goes to the bone.
I hope she's well.