Amazing things can happen at the most unusual times and in the most unlikely places. Today was one of those days and the local grocery was one of those places.
I stopped in to our local market aptly named Happy Foods for some bread and cheese for dinner. I was not going to stop but I had a minute so I parked and went in. Usually the kids don’t like to go in nor do I like them to as it changes a 5 minute $10 stop into a 15 minute $30 battle of wearing mom down. However today they all wanted to come in and I had a strong resolve so in we went!
I got the 2 items on my list and was talked into chorizo and asparagus for breakfast. I lost count of the times I said no but we made it to the check out with only 4 items. I paid for our purchases and as I was putting the cart away I saw a familiar face. I was going to turn and walk out but stopped and decided to take a chance.
Me, “you walk in the neighborhood don’t you?”
Man, “yes, I try to go 2 or 3 miles every day no matter the weather.”
Me, “I want you to know that you are my inspiration. I am a runner and when I am having a bad run or want to quit, I think of you. You are amazing.”
There was a stunned silence and people moved behind us to enter and leave the store. My children have surrounded us as the Man’s eyes well with tears.
Man, “Thank you,” he stultters, “I walk every day because I am afraid if I skip one day then I will skip another and eventually I will no longer be able to move.”
See….this man is paralyzed in one side of his body, walks with a severe limp and a cane. Every step takes effort and looks like it is painful to him but he is out there…for 2 to 3 miles every day. I have watched him for over 2 years walking the local streets and in the park.
Me, “Well, you are my inspiration and I thought you should know. I just wanted you to know that I admire you so very much. ”
Man, “thank you.”
We parted company as the checkers and baggers watched. The look on his face is one that I will never forget.
We got to the car and my kids, who are never at a loss for words, were silent. We traveled home in silence. I know that they are embarrassed by me and the fact that I talk to everyone regardless of whether I know the folks or not mortifies them. I didn’t know what they would have to say about this incident.
As we pulled in the driveway, 14 started to clap and the others joined in. They all smiled at me and the words came fast, furious, and all at once…..”Mom, that was amazing!” “Did you see that mans face?” “He was so sweet and so touched.” “Mom, I think you may have made his day…even week” “mom, I am so proud of you for telling that man that we see him walking!” “That man was so cool” “Mom, do you think he will remember us?”…… And so it went as we went into the house and got dinner ready. I knew I had done something right as one posted it on FB and another Tweeted about it.
I don’t know if I will ever run into this man again. I don’t know if I made him happy or scared him I don’t know if my kids will remember this tomorrow. What I do know that my kids saw something that allowed them to be proud of me. I do know that I took the time to stop and express my gratitude to another human being. I do know is my heart is full. I know that I will end this day knowing that I did the right thing. I do know that amazing things can happen at the most unusual times and in the most unlikely places.

4 thoughts on “Amazing”

  1. Kristine, I love that! I think it is important to tell people how inspirational they are and to show your kids how to do it. I bet he will never forget your kindness.


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