It Was What We All Needed
In this hustle-bustle world where we all find ourselves these days we don’t often get the opportunity to lift someone’s spirits and “Make their day.” I recently had that opportunity.
We were down in Texas for most of January and February – right in the middle of the winter storms that wreaked havoc in most of the state. Where we were in the Corpus Christi area did not escape the troubles. We were without power for several days and had water pipes burst that had us all seeking shelter in a local church that miraculously still had power.
As the week progressed everyone in town was feeling the stress. No power and, even if you had water, it was under a “Boil Order” to make it potable. Fortunately, there was one large supermarket in town that was open and trying to service all 5000 souls. I was sent to the supermarket several times to try to find water and food.
Not surprisingly the store was crowded. Everyone I saw looked haggard and worn down. The aisles were jammed and there were many empty shelves waiting for trucks to arrive from San Antonio to resupply the store.
At one point I was at the end of a crowded aisle in the Meat Department. Shopping carts were tied up in a gridlock as people were looking for anything they could take home. Moving in any direction was almost impossible. Caught in the middle of this traffic jam was a woman with her cart completely stuck and unable to move.
One look at her and I could see that she was on the edge of a complete breakdown. The stresses of the pandemic and lockdown and now with the power outage and freezing temperatures it all had pushed her to the brink. She was physically trapped, surrounded by other desperate people. She was on the verge of tears. Looking around she yelled out, “I want to back up. That’s all. Please let me back up.”
She was starting to panic.
People could see what I did and began to give her some leeway. She started to back up with her cart and get some room to move.
For a reason I still can’t understand, as she backed up, I began to make “Beeping” noises like a truck moving in reverse. The woman stopped and looked at me. I hadn’t meant to upset her or anything it was just a spur of the moment bit of silliness. I just shrugged and she smiled. Then she laughed out loud and began beeping as she continued to back up her cart. When she got her cart free of the gridlock she looked back at me again, laughed, and started moving down the “Bread Aisle.”
Thirty seconds earlier she had looked as if the world was crushing her and now she was laughing with a smile on her face.
I was feeling stressed myself, but our little beeping interaction lightened my heart as well as hers. Could there be something as out of place as two strangers making beeping noises in the middle of a crowded supermarket?
A moment of laughter surrounded by all that chaos.
It may have been a rough time for all of us but those few moments made our day