It was a simple act of kindness.  Hours after I wrote a story on Saturday bemoaning the loss of civility in Idaho, I saw an example of the old ways.  Much of what I wrote over the weekend centered on grocery shopping and driving.  Those are the two things I do every week where I have the most contact with people I barely know.  It’s not easy to find people who aren’t out for themselves first and only give others a glancing look.

I had gone to Smith’s to buy some fresh lettuce and some supplies for my cat.  At the checkout, there was an older man ahead of me.  He had the look of someone who had a burden on his shoulders.  He paid his tab with some pocket change and then wrote a check for the whole dollar amount.  How many of you get frustrated in our modern times when someone ahead of you writes a check and balances the book when ahead of you?  Does it matter an hour later in your life?

The check was rejected.  A telephone number on his receipt instructed him to call his bank.

He appeared perplexed.

It was then that the cashier pulled out her personal bank card and paid for his cart.  He was still confused.  “I paid for your groceries,” she explained.

My receipt says her name is Merry.  Isn’t that appropriate?

Nearly two months have passed since I had two stents placed in an artery adjacent to my heart.  I’m on blood thinners for another four months, until my body accepts the stents.  Meanwhile, I wait for possible cancer.  A test I had in late summer came back positive for colon cancer cells.  Sometimes the tests are wrong, but I can’t have a procedure to determine the truth until February, because there would be excessive bleeding.

I wake up every morning acutely aware that life is finite.  I keep looking for signs of humanity.  It’s nice to see there are still a few.

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