Schneider HugPosted: September 26, 2012
I just stopped by the Walgreen’s to pick up a few things I needed here in my new role as “Schneider.” You know the handyman from One Day at a Time? What, you were too young to remember what and who I am talking about? Phuf…
As I walk in, I am cursing under my breath about this new role I play as landlord / IT person / light bulb changer / fixer-upper / copier repair(wo)man and lamenting how we (people in general) under appreciate these kinds of things.
Pushing the basket, I thought of how I too have under appreciated how much others have done for me so that I might focus on the task of growing my life and my business. Most especially on the operational side of things.
As I place an extra-large pack of paper towels in the basket, I ponder how easy it is to become disconnected from the most basic things.
I wrap up my short shopping trip and pony up to the cashier. Greeted by a middle-aged woman, I ask, “how are you today?”
“Fine,” she says.
She scans my items and I realize that the package of Planters nuts mixed with dried fruit is $9.49. “Whoa!” I exclaim. I ask her to please remove this from my ring and tell her that is insanely expensive for some nuts.
She completely agrees.
Schneider is also cheap.
Then she pauses, stops scanning and looks out the window. She says that she doesn’t want to tell me all about her business, but that she is not having a good day.
I ask why.
She explains that her sister died from cancer two years ago. That her tongue was cut out and her teeth lost during her decline. They did all they could to save her. With no luck. But, that on days like today, which she explains as most days, she just misses her so much. She misses her when it is sunny. She misses her when it rains. She just misses her so much.
Tears welled up in her eyes.
I just stood there across from her holding my bags.
Then, I just gave her a huge hug. All the people behind me in line were staring at us – all weird like. I told her it was going to be ok and that her sister was waiting for her. Safe and happy now.
She just looked down. My words seemed hollow – eclipsed by her pain.
I wished I’d had a tool just right for her kind of sorrow. I haven’t quite grown into this Schneider-like tool belt yet, so I used the best tools I had – kind words and a hug.
Certainly wish I could have done better.
I walked into that Walgreen’s cursing the nuisance of taking care of things that others used to take care of for me.
I left with a few necessities and thankful for the hard work of living.