February 10, 2015

My Lucky Day

Last Wednesday I had a lucky day.  I had spent 6 hours throughout the morning and afternoon in medical appointments for Bridger.

That was not the lucky part.

As a reward for such weary doctor days, Bridger and I have a ritual of stopping by the Cafe Rio that we pass on the way home for a little date to celebrate making it through our difficult day.

I unloaded Bridger from the car (which took a good 20 minutes) and wheeled him towards the door. Through the glass windows of the restaurant, a woman saw me approaching and jumped up out of her seat and ran to the door to beat me there to open it for me.

I was dumbfounded.  I was so touched and looked her in the eye and offered her the most genuine "thank you" that I could say.

As I was standing in the line to order my taco I reflected on what had just happened and I felt that big scratchy lump form in my throat and my eyes began to well up.  I can count on 2 fingers how many times someone had jumped out of their seat to open the door for Bridger and I.  There have been a handful of other times that someone, after watching me struggle for an ample amount of time -- getting wheels caught, stuck on thresholds, blocked by door jams and lack of hands, who would then come offer to hold the door, usually after I finally made it through. Then there are uncountable occurrences of people the just stare at us when we are fumbling through the door.  I will choose to ignore this latter group, just as they ignore me. The few in the second group I am grateful for, but there is a difference between watching someone struggle, then hesitantly coming to help and the first group, now 3 in total, that leap out of their chair at seeing us coming, detecting the need to help before the struggle ensues. For that first group I mentioned, I am forever touched.

I ordered my taco, tucked Bridger under a table to enjoy his requisite pancakes that I brought in from the neighboring McD's, and I walked over to that woman sitting at the table by the window, obviously on a lunch break with her colleague.

"Excuse me," I said, "I wanted to let you know, again, just how very grateful I am that you did that. That has only happened a couple times for us in his little life and I am so moved by and appreciative of your gesture and wanted to let you know that."

She popped out of her chair again and gave me a big hug.

I wanted her to know the extent of my gratitude in such a way that every time in the future that she sees a wheelchair coming down the sidewalk, she will continue to jump to action, without having to be compelled to by first having to watch a struggle, just as she had so selflessly done that day.

Bridger and I enjoyed our lunch and afterwards wheeled away to leave. As I was standing to go another customer jumped up and got the door before we even approached the exit. I didn't hug him, though I thought he deserved the same, but looked him directly in the eye and offered another heartfelt, "thank you!"

What in the world, I thought, twice in one day?!

We had one final stop for Bridger at the optician. As I approached that door, wouldn't you know, a man seeing us through the glass on the inside jumped out of his seat and ran to the door to open it for us!

Three times in one day! Incredible! I couldn't suppress the bounce in my step the rest of the day.

3 doors opened - and all without with an embarrassing struggle to display to earn such a gesture.

3 simple gestures, all received with gratitude and delight - it was absolutely my lucky day!