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Showing posts from June, 2012

Tank You Sir

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"Grocery personnel. Till Six. Customer carry-out."

That call was for me. Drop the juice cartons. Get up front.

There an east Indian man with a black plastic carry tote full of groceries waited for help.

Left eye squinting. Posture hunched. Voice devastated to a gravel-like tone. Left arm curled up in atrophy.

"Tank you Sir for this help. Just can't get the left arm to work anymore."

Off we went to the parked pick-up truck outside. He proceeded to tell me about his decades of service for a Kitchener man who ran a busy foods warehouse. "I worked for him like a dog, but no matter. Hundreds of bags of rice here...hundreds of cartons of corned beef there. He was like a God to me. Helped me with all my immigration concerns years ago. And now here I am, pretty much busted up."

I just let the man talk. He was delighted with the attention and small show of respect. We shared a couple of laughs, and then "Tank you Sir. God bless you Sir."

Back into t…

Say One for Me

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So many Saturdays the scene at the grocery store was the same. The part-timer was back in the dairy corner, on his knees and stacking the bags of milk or cartons of eggs. He had enjoyed occasional conversations with the customers, particularly the elderly. They wanted so much to engage in a society which was becoming more and more "hands off".

Frequently while he was down there he would hear the remark, "While you're at it, say one for me".
There would be something awkward or perhaps condescending in the tone. Or maybe just the application of gentle humour, when in fact the prayer needs were there.
Without hesitation or embarrassment, the big fellow, still stooping, would respond, "Always happy to pray. Is there something specific?" No response. Perhaps some awkwardness from the other. Mentioning prayer and its power and relevance in a public place and amidst the general shuffle. Humanity all around. Some sad, happy, rushed, lonely, worried, pre-occ…