Friday, March 20, 2009

My Hero...

Some days as we pass through our lives going through the motions of our daily tasks we "get in a groove". We take on the mentality of moving forward and "getting things done". We fail to stop and take in the world around us and really challenge ourselves to push outward and go beyond our comfort zone. We simply wish to exist, blend in, complete our work and be done. Today as I was driving to work admiring the blooms that are exploding in color on the roadside, watching birds soar overhead I was deep in thought.

I wondered what the task of the day was for the bird soaring overhead. He was probably looking for food - then going to seek shelter after a great meal, if he could find one. I arrived at my work more quickly than I expected perhaps due to the uncluttered mind that I had this morning as my focus was elsewhere.

I got onto the FCC floor at the hospital, grabbed my clipboard and started moving through my tasks. I was focused on doing my job and doing it well. I was pleased when after a short time I had accomplished all my duties and was able to go home.

I was walking the long walk to the employee parking lot admiring what a beautiful day it was when I noticed an elderly man. There was nothing unusual about him, but I saw a look in his eye. He looked - scared. I thought to myself "poor man"... perhaps he was ill or here for a procedure. As I continued to walk in his direction I saw him turning this way then that. He went in a full circle, then slumped his small shoulders.

He was dressed in dress slacks, dress shoes and a sweater. He had a cute little cab hat perched just right on his head to shield his eyes from the bright sun. He stopped. He placed his hands over his eyes and as I got closer I heard him sobbing.

I could have easily dismissed him, passed by and said a prayer for this poor old man who was crying. I chose not to. I stopped and gently touched his elbow, which startled him. Jumping back he wiped his eyes and I then asked if he was okay. He said that he was lost.

He had lost his car and had been searching for 45 minutes. He did not remember the make or model only that it was a blue car. He explained that his wife had suffered a stroke and that he usually did not drive. He did not have family nearby but knew that he lived very close to the hospital in Woodbury Estates.

I told him that I would help him find his car. Seeming relieved he took my hand and handed me his keys. I commented on the beauty of the day and told him that I noticed that his car keys had an alarm on them. I told him that sometimes I get really preoccupied and forget where I too, had parked. I simply keep hitting the door lock button to hear for my car's horn and it leads me to my vehicle.

His sweet crinkly old eyes lit up and he smiled. "I never thought of that!" he exclaimed - acting as if I had just given him the winning lottery numbers. I started hitting the door lock button on his keys as we walked hand in hand. His old hand was soft and warm in mine and he gently squeezed it when we heard a car horn growing closer. "I think that is it!" he exclaimed. I kept hitting the button and there just 6 cars from where he stood we found his little blue honda accord.

I gave him his keys after I unlocked the door and opened it for him. He fumbled for his wallet and opened it up. Inside was one dollar. He took it out and offered it to me for helping him. He said I know it is not much but today - "You were my hero".

I told him no gift was necessary. I was happy to have helped him. I then offered to have him follow me to Woodbury Estates as I passed right by on my way home. He smiled and said "Oh I'd love that! At my age I really should not venture onto the streets but I had to see my wife."

I asked him how old he was and he said he was 92! I was in awe. He looked tired and worn but really good for 92. I told him that perhaps he could have a friend or neighbor bring him the next time and he thought that he would arrange that.

He gave me a huge firm hug and patted me on the shoulder - "Thank you - my hero!" he called out as he got into his car. I told him to stay put and that I would go get my white jeep. I would come to him and lead him home. I then gave him my phone number to call if he needed anything. He said he probably would not remember my name but that if I got a call from him asking for "My Hero" it would be him! We laughed, then parted.

I got to my car - my heart warmed by him. I went to where he was and he followed me to Woodbury Estates. I pulled in to make sure he knew what house he belonged at. As he pulled into his driveway he waved at me and I noticed a car parked on the curb. I stopped and watched him get out. He was greeted by a lady dressed in a brightly colored floral dress.

"PAPA! Where were you?! Why were you driving the car?!" She scolded. "I wanted to see Gran! " He told her in a firm but loving voice. I went up and introduced myself to his granddaughter. She told me she lived in Yorba Linda and had come to take him to see "Gran" her grandma. We both laughed at how anxious he must have been to have tried to go it alone.

She thanked me for taking care of him and we exchanged info. As I headed back to my car he called out - "Hey - Have a great day...MY HERO!" chuckling. "I will !!" I called back.

So today - I was some one's hero.
See who's hero you can be!