All the groceries are put away, Joe is on his way to his office and I am finally cooled off. We went to our local grocery store and while I was standing in the checkout line, I could not help but notice a petite, elderly lady just in front of me. She seemed to be having difficulty making the checkout rep understand that she wanted her to add $20.00 to her total. I jumped in and explained to the cashier that I believed the woman wanted $20.00 cash back. The woman flashed a smile at me when the cashier finally got it. A few minutes passed while I was placing my items on the conveyor belt. As the woman was about to push her heavily laden cart away, I realized I had not heard the usual query about assistance. I whispered to the cashier, “Is there someone to help her outside?” A shrug of the shoulders and a blank unconcerned look was all I got. I spoke up so the lady could hear me and I asked her, “Ma’am, do you need any help to load your groceries into your car?” To which she replied, “No, I just push the cart home and then push it back. The hard part is getting the groceries inside the house.” She walked off at a slow but determined pace. A lot of the houses in the area have two sets of steps leading up to the front doors. Her bags looked weighty. I sighed inwardly and my brow creased in concern.
I got my stuff rung up and I thanked the employee for my having shopped at their store, as she never bothered to thank me for being a patron. She wasn’t the usual woman I see, but I will mention to the manager next time, to train their employees to do and say the right thing. And yes, I will refrain from giving the cashier’s name. All through this, I was thinking about the little lady pushing her heavy cart, in this heat, across the street toward her home. We only live across the street and two blocks up. I kept wondering where she might live and I was formulating a plan in my head. As I reached the curb outside, Joe went to get the car, while I visited with a woman sitting inside her car. The pug was looking out the window with her tongue hanging out a little. She had such a bright face I was immediately drawn to go over and pet this sweet dog and she licked my hand in response. The lady and I spoke briefly about how people leave their animals inside hot vehicles. Joe pulled up as we said a cheery good-bye and she told me with pride, that her dog was their little princess. I love people who love their pets.
I espied the elderly lady just as I sat down in our car. She had not gotten very far, so I explained to Joe that we just had to do something. Less than a minute later we caught up to her. I got out of the car and walked across the street. I hurriedly explained I was the lady behind her in the checkout line, and that if she told us where she lived she could sit inside our air-conditioned car and ride home, and I would push her cart to her house for her. It turns out that she lives directly across the street from us. What luck!
Needless to say, we got her and all of her packages inside, and we placed the groceries on her dining room table, so she wouldn’t have to bend over to lift the bags while putting her groceries away. She thanked us profusely, as I grabbed the two large packages of toilet paper, and dashed them upstairs so she wouldn’t have to carry them up the steep staircase. She appeared to be in her late seventies or early eighties. I then returned to the kitchen where we exchanged numbers and names. Hers is Dorothy. Such a pretty name and what a lovely lady she is. She confided that she had lost her husband eight years ago and she was all alone now. She mentioned her daughter, but she must reside elsewhere. I asked her to phone me if ever she needs something. We hugged, smiled and she was relieved, and I was relieved that she was at home, safe and sound. I thanked Joe for helping me help her. He is such a gentleman.
The moral to this story is “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. It’s really nice to make new friends.