We love random acts of kindness. Write about a time that you benefitted from the kindness of a stranger, or a time when you were the one extending a helping hand. How did you feel? #HAWMC
On March 6th, I had surgery on my wrist. In anticipation, my rheumatologist suggested I get a handicap parking tag. She said I should have one anyway, so I agreed. I took the application to the MVA and felt extremely self-conscious. I don’t look sick. I don’t use any assistive devices, aside from the insulin pump, aka my pancreas, strapped to my side.
Fast forward a few weeks post-surgery. In retrospect, I should have waited and had my husband or son help me at the store but being as hardheaded and stubborn as I am, I went on my own. I still couldn’t lift anything heavier than 1lb with my left hand, but that wouldn’t stop me. I parked in a handicapped spot for the first time and did my weekly Target run. Anyone that has a teenage son, a preteen daughter, and a hard-working husband, knows that a weekly Target run means a cart filled to the brim. It also means that the entire cart of food will be gone in three days, but that’s another story.
I managed to check out successfully and got to my car, which was in the very first handicapped parking spot. Despite the fact that my left arm was in a brace and that by that time, I was walking much slower because my feet were killing me, I still felt unworthy of using the spot. I popped the trunk and started putting the bags in, one by one, with my good arm. A man and his wife came up to me and offered to hold my cart so it wouldn’t roll away. They then offered to return my cart to the store and said they hoped I had a nice day. I thanked them and watched as they went into Target, put the cart back, and then came right back out and went to their car. They were done shopping but had seen me and stopped what they were doing to help.
Their gesture was small and to them probably didn’t mean much. But it did to me. It showed me that despite my perceived notion that people were going to judge me or find me unworthy of using a handicapped spot, this couple knew there had to be a reason to park there and didn’t assume anything other than the fact that I might need a little help.