TRIBUTE TO AN ELDERLY LADY...

Thursday 10th February 2011

This time last week Button and I decided to tackle the fruit/veggie and meat shop... generally Mr. C does this as it's on his way home; but a good 30 minute drive from our house. We chose to go there because it is still the cleanest, freshest and cheapest fruit and veggie store we've come across - living in Auckland we don't have to travel that far if we don't want to! However I decided we needed to get out of the house, and it seemed common sense to offer to do this little chore for Mr. C, seeing as he had been planning on doing it that evening anyway.

So I waited until Button woke from her first sleep, feed her and got her sorted out and into the car... thought through the quickest way of getting there, and proceeded to set off for the Pakuranga Plaza! About a third of the way there the tears started - and the further along we got, the louder and harder she cried... to this day I still don't know what started it, or why she continued. It was a hot day, so she was utterly wet with sweat and tears by the time we got there, and I was rather frazzled and already stressed about the trip home.

So I decided rather than going straight into the shop, getting what we wanted and heading home (which had been the plan), I'd need to take it a bit slower so Button could calm down and relax a little. Naturally, as it was only going to be a SHORT trip, I hadn't brought the stroller or even the front pack... doh! We started off at T&T as Button needed some sweatshirts (we have loads of lovely knitted garments thanks to her Nana, but it's still a bit hot for woollen cardy's), but instead I was enticed into buying two gorgeous little dresses (only $5 each), however I did come out with one sweatshirt as well! We then stopped at Muffin Break as I needed a drink after the stressful drive, I managed to slurp down 3/4 of it before she started grizzling again - so I took her down to the Family Room for a top-up and we then decided to attack the shopping... here is where the fun started.

Button in one of the little dresses I bought her...

Due to no stroller or front pack I had been having to carry her around, and at 8.6 kg's - she is no light weight! We got to the shop and there was only one trolley left; one without a baby seat on the front... I could see others with the newer trolleys that had the baby seats - but no one seemed to see me or my predicament. So here I was holding Button on one hip, and trying to push the trolley with the other hand, as well as chose my fruit / veggies and meat... it was not an easy assignment in a small shop! But we managed fine, paid for everything and then started heading to the car... so this meant trying to cope with a heavy run-away trolley out in public, and get across a road and then up a small rise. We were parked under The Warehouse, so this then meant attempting to go down a ramp into the car-park - what a mission, I almost lost control of the trolley and while attempting to straighten that up and stop it from hitting others, I almost lost Button!

It was at this point that an elderly lady came to my rescue, she must have seen what was happening and asked me if I was okay - of course I responded with 'I'm okay, thank you', but she could see I wasn't, so offered to take my trolley to the car at the same time as taking over the trolley for me; giving me no room or time to decline her amazing offer. I was so relieved and grateful, she not only took it down the ramp and into the car park, but she took it all the way to our car; chatting away as though she'd known me for ages. I have no recollection at all about what she was talking about, but I was extraordinarily appreciative of her help and it made my day.

But to my shame - I never introduced myself or my daughter, I never asked her name and I never asked her single thing about herself. I look back now and I wonder about myself; am I so self-obsessed that when someone is right there under my nose and doing a good deed for me, I still can't even reach out and make eye contact and ask them about themselves. What is wrong with me, with society, that we can't put our hand out in friendship when someone reaches out to us first?

So - in memory of this lovely lady, I have decided that I need to start to 'look', I mean REALLY LOOK when I go out to the shops. You never know, I may see someone I can offer a lending hand to as well... maybe it'll just be a case of sitting next to someone and starting a conversation (having a baby is an amazing ice-breaker), it may just mean smiling and saying hello to someone as we pass, or it may mean helping another young Mum with her groceries... If we all looked around and just made contact with one person every time we go out - it'll make a happier world! We were talking about this at homegroup just last night, how even when the Cashier at the Supermarket says hello it makes your day seem brighter somehow.

So who wants to join me in making someone's day brighter every time we go to the shops?

Elizabeth
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