I Just Couldn't Walk By
I was still in a very fragile state of depression when this happened, but it still makes me sad to think about it. I had just driven my youngest son to his hockey game and since we had to be there an hour before his game started, I decided that I had enough time to go browse at the magazine store nearby. On my way back I saw an older gentleman who had slipped and fallen into a large puddle of water. His granddaughter who looked to be about seven or eight was with him and crying ''get up grandpa, please try to get up''. She was pulling on his arm and he was also crying that he couldn't and telling her to leave him and go home. This made her cry even harder. The poor man had fallen right in front of a parking lot exit and as I approached I saw a teenager in a small pickup truck trying to leave the parking lot.
Instead of getting out to help the man in distress he started yelling at him ''get up gramps, you're blocking the road'' and honking his horn. This only served to fluster the grandfather and his granddaughter even more. When I finally reached them I helped the old man up and made sure there was nothing physically wrong with him. While I was doing this the teenager asked me if I needed help. I told him, not too politely, that he had done enough. I also told him that one day he might be in the old man's position and that I hoped he receive more help than what he had given this man.
Once he was up, I could see that he was soaking wet. I asked him if I could call someone to come and get him, but he said no, he lived nearby. I walked him home and had him lean on me the whole way and I made sure that he got safely into his house. He thank me warmly and so did his little granddaughter, but I could see how humiliated he felt.
When I made it back to the arena the hockey game was well underway. Then the callousness of that teenager's actions hit me and I started to cry. I cried for that old gentleman who I'm sure was feeling so powerless, I cried for the little girl who was clearly very worried and scared. I cried for that teenager who, at such a young age, already had a hardened heart.
Thank goodness that the other parents at the arena saw my distress and gathered around me to console me.
I have never liked jokes about old people because they promote the lack of respect our society has for them. Our seniors should be valued for what they have contributed.