The People I Meet: Daniel

I met a gentleman this morning outside a convenience store, near 44th street and Van Buren. He was sitting in his wheelchair as I approached the front door, when he called me over to ask me a favor. 

I immediately shake his hand and asked him how I could help. He started off by saying he’s had a rough day, and did I have any money. Something about needing a bus pass, and a bus driver buying him a soda but the cashier inside thought he was stealing it, and then asked him to leave the premises, and he couldn’t leave…and I stopped him. “Do you need a bus pass? Well sure I can get you a bus pass. You wait right here.”

He was very appreciative. I went inside and started to grab the items I came in for; some cheese, a water and a Slim Jim, when it occurred to me I should get him something to eat and drink too. So I grabbed another water and found another Slim Jim, but when I was standing in line I remembered his crooked smile and thought he would probably have a hard time chewing the Slim Jim, so I put it back and started to find something more soft that he could enjoy. I settled on some powdered donuts, and took my place back in line. I purchased my items, reminded the cashier about the bus pass I just bought, then headed back outside to find my new friends exactly where I left him.

“Here you are my friend,” and before I could place everything into his hands he started to tell me about a prescription he needed to pick up that had a copay he couldn’t get and…

I cut him off with the same smile on my face that I had as I approached him, and asked him his name. Daniel, it was. “My name is Kim, Daniel. I hope you have an incredibly blessed day, but don’t carry any cash on me and no I’m not going back inside to get some. This is what I can do for you, so you take care.”

He thanked me for my kindness but I knew he didn’t get what he really wanted, but that’s ok. I still got to be the person I wanted to be and I didn’t let him tarnish my feelings for those in need. I didn’t let him make my heart bitter or hard. Even as I drove off and I could see he wasn’t in any hurry to catch any bus, I still prayed that one day what he wants, is what he needs.

Be well, my friend.

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