I was awake at four am this morning and forced myself to get my exercise in before my daughter woke up. Feeling pretty good Kayci and I were at Super Walmart getting groceries before seven am. There was only one lane open and a huge line. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, I started getting frustrated as Kayci was pulling Star magazine off the shelves. I was irritated as was everyone in that line. I felt bad for the cashier because she was obviously stressed and handling it quite well. My thoughts drifted to jealousy (a feeling I do not like and try hard not to let it get the best of me.) I was thinking of my friends who had money to buy groceries online and shop at food stores that are more high end and what I used to use for almost everything. Not anymore! Being a wife and stay at home mom has obviously changed that.
We then drove to our produce store where I was hit with complete helplessness and sadness and reality. There is a very nice man that works there making about minimum wage. He has known me since I was pregnant with Kayci and always helps me with the produce and I have gotten to know a lot about him. I always wondered why he talked to me so much and told me so much about his life until it dawned on me that I was probably the only person who listened. Most people would see this man and judge him for his appearance. Not knowing that he is doing the best he can with the cards he was dealt in life. He lives with his wife and two children in Camden, NJ. He takes the bus to work every day and is working to get his GED. He wants to show his fifteen year old son that one can change their life at any age. Wisdom most people do not possess. Two weeks ago his son was sent to the emergency room because he was beyond sick and they did not know what to do. I found out today as this kind man was helping my daughter and I with our produce that his son has cancer. He just got home from the hospital after tons of tests and will not be returning to school for the rest of this year. Money is beyond tight for this family and my friend explained that their neighborhood is not safe and he cannot let his children play outside. With the government shut down they are being hit hard with extra problems as well. The expenses for his sons hospital stay and treatments will really test his strength. He knows I was a social worker before being a stay at home mom but I specialized in the elderly medical field. I do not know what to offer this man but a listening ear. I decided on my car ride home that I would make his son a care package to try and cheer him up.
This put things in perspective for me. Snobby me was feeling bad because I now shop at Walmart while most of my friends are still buying all their food organic etc. Selfish me was thinking about my chronic pain and worrying about the future: money, getting pregnant etc. As we were driving away from the Produce store I shouted out from my car window: “Keep your head up….things have a way of working themselves out! I am here if you need anything.” He looked at me with sad eyes and raised his finger to the sky and said: “The Lord will help me. He is here for me.” I find it ironic that I see more people that have far less that I do have more faith than I do. He knows his higher being will get him through this. I’m never going to bitch about shopping at Walmart again. I have so much to be grateful for.