Tuesday, September 11, 2007
If you have ever been to Barstow in August you know the meaning of HOT! Even if there is a breeze it feels like it is coming out of an oven. We stopped for lunch at one of John's favorite fast-food places Taco Bell. Out of the window I could see a woman pushing a wheelchair up the hill toward the Taco Bell Parking lot. I thought the person in the wheelchair was maybe a cancer victim. The arms and legs were very thin and the person was pale and small. I thought maybe they were coming from one of the offices around the restaurant and had maybe parked at the bell for convenience. Then the woman stopped the wheel chair at one of the trash cans and started searching through it for cans and plastic bottles, which she put into a bag on the back of the chair. She then wheeled the chair over to another trashcan and that is when they were close enough for me to make out the boy in the chair. He looked about ten or eleven years old with clean white shorts. The boy looked clean and well cared for. As she wheeled him to the next trash can the boy flailed his arms to try to block out the glare of the sun and the hot wind blowing on them. Here was a woman taking care of this child while trying to raise some money. She took him wherever she went. I realized that love of a mother for her child that no matter what the circumstances, she would be there for him. I was floored. It was like someone had gut-punched me, I nearly sobbed right there. Something in that scene brought out such basic feelings in me of admiration and respect for that type of love that it nearly made me sob on the spot. I went to the counter and bought $20 in gift certificates. I tried to make john go give them to her but he insisted I do it. Just as she was going to come in the back door of the Taco Bell I opened the door for her and handed her the coupons. The little boys face lit up as he lifted his hands over his head and gave a clap. She thanked me and went right to the counter. On the way back to my table I did loose it. I sat and ate as tears streamed down my face. They got their meal to go and she was able to get the boy a sticker he wanted. He just seemed happy. They left and she pushed him up the hill and out of sight but not out of mind. I keep thinking about the woman and the boy and the love an devotion I saw. I don't think I will ever forget it.