I walked out of the Martins store and headed over to where my van was parked.
I noticed an old, long car with its elderly driver trying to park it next to my van. Trying in vain–I might add.
My eyes widened as I thought, “He’s going to hit my van!”
And sure enough, he did.
He hit the corner of my rear bumper as my van lurched forward.
I slowly walked over to my van as he tried to back up and then park into the space next to mine. I made eye contact with him and for some odd reason, gave him a smile. (Okay, so it wasn’t so odd. Other than the fact that I tend to smile or laugh in serious situations, it was probably because I’ve been in the elderly driver’s shoes before when backing out of a parking space. It’s not a pleasant feeling.)
Fortunately, the color of his car didn’t clash with mine, so there was only a slight scrape.
I got into my van and waved an “it’s okay” to the elderly man, with the intention of taking off as if nothing had happened.
But he got out of his car, probably thinking that I was motioning for him to come over.
He slowly hobbled over to my window, with visible white bandaids taped on his arms.
“Don’t worry about it, it’s okay. Are you okay?” I asked him.
“Huh? What was that?” he asked, cupping his ear. “These hearing aids are useless!”
I smiled at the irony that I too was a fellow hearing-aid wearer.
“Are you okay?” I asked him again.
“Oh yeah. Sorry about hitting your car. I just got out of the hospital. I was there for two months. I had pneumonia.” Those were the words I caught as he explained about two surgeries he also had.
My heart squeezed.
“Wow. Are you sure you’re okay?” I asked him again.
“Well, please take good care of yourself,” I added feebly.
“Thank you,” he said and hobbled towards the store.
My heart squeezed again.
Tears came to my eyes as I hoped that the poor man had family to look after him.
He’s still on my mind today.
God bless him.
And God, open my eyes to see the needs of others like him.