Hello all great people. It is 2 PM and I am finally getting to sit at the computer and share my thoughts and answer comments. Let me start by saying to ended up having to go to bed really early yesterday afternoon and stayed there until 7 this morning. So little got done yesterday.
This morning after coffee and doing some online bill paying, we decided to go to a local store and get me new sneakers. I have not had new ones in 3 or four 4 years and the sole on one of them was separating from the rest of the shoe like they were of two different political parties. So we went, I found a pair of shoes I like, was stunned at the price of nearly $100 dollars and Ron found a new shirt he liked that was sunscreen rated. Then on the way home we stopped at one of the local grocery stores so Ron could go in and get a few things. As I sat in the car, I noticed a man in a wheelchair pushing his cart up to his car. I had not noticed him before so have no idea of how long it took him or how hard the struggle but I can image it was a very hard thing trying to move your chair while pushing a full sized shopping cart. I watched him sit in his chair and reach over the top of the cart as far as he could, remove an item or small bag and turn sideways to put it in his trunk.
I watched 5 people going in each direction just walk by this man. I was stunned. These people seemed in no hurry, the ones going in had no reason not to stop or help, but they ignored him. As I started to get out of my car I noticed a car pull in next to him and a young man get out, so I thought surely a young guy will help but instead he took a nearby cart which he gave to an older man who got out of the passenger seat. They started to walk by the man in the wheelchair. I figure sure the young guy would offer to help but he never even glanced at the disabled man. I was furious.
So I got out of my car, grabbed my cane and walked over to ask the man if he would like some help. He beamed at me. He told me no one offers to help. They just walk by. He had only one leg. After we were done he thanked me and not thinking I walked back to my car. I sat down rather happy with myself and angry at other people, as I watched the man roll over to the driver’s door, open it, roll back to passenger door and open it. I thought maybe he forgot something. Then using the car door and the roof of the car he stood up, and with one hand he pushed the chair up against his leg and folded it. Then I realized what I forgot. He still had to get into the car. Shit. I watched him pick up the folded chair and push it in the back seat, then close the door and hop on one leg to the front door and ease down in the car. I never thought to ask him if he needed more help. I just took his thanks and left thinking job done. I should know better as a disabled person myself.
I am lucky I have both Ron and James to help me and we all take care of each other. I often offer to help people in stores riding the scooters get stuff, but I never asked how do they get the scooter before they enter the store? Only one local store has baggers that offer to take everyone’s cart or accompany people using scooters to their cars, all for free. I admit I watch abled bodied people take advantage with mixed feelings; I only take them up on it when I really am struggling. They refuse any tip, it is part of the service the store offers, they take the cart out and load the groceries in your car for you, rain or shine. It is Publix and I love the store. Unfortunately, they tend to have higher prices. Ron uses Publix, Winne Dixie, and Walmart. Sometimes if he gets a sale catalog, he goes to places like Save a Lot or Aldis. Ron watches the prices at each store and gets the best buys he can and so he doesn’t use Publix as much as I do as he complains about their prices. Still you cannot argue that cheerful people offering to help you with your groceries when you struggle to walk, it is a great service.
We really need to find a way to get people to see each other and have empathy again. I don’t know how to do it. But I watched able people of all ages walk right by the man in a wheelchair and not even look at him. It made me angry then, now it breaks my heart. Hugs