Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do Good

I went over to Mary's last night. Her husband works for Penndot, and in the winter he works from noon until 8 at night. Unless, of course, the weather's crap. And then he works from noon to whenever. Anyhow, I took salad over, and Mary's Christmas gifts. We just hadn't had time to get together during the holiday. It was a nice evening, a chance to sit and talk. In fact, we talked so much that the scrabble game we were playing took three hours. (Side note: I played a masterful game and whupped her tail. I even used all of my letters on a double word score and nabbed the extra fifty points. But I digress.) Mary said, "You know something's been bothering me since I read it. Did you see yesterday's paper?" I realized that I had not. I'd been up at 5:30, and out the door by 7:30. It had been a pretty full day, and I'd never slowed down enough to read the paper. She pulled it out and read an entry on the police blotter. A 76 year old man had been arrested in the local Walmart. For stealing food.

Food.

These are hard times for a lot of people, and the idea that an old man is going hungry right here in our own community was a sobering one. His address was printed right there next to his name and age. There could be mental issues, I suppose, some sort of dementia thing going on. Or alcoholism. But maybe he was hungry.

Mary and I have been friends for pretty much all of our lives. She looked at me and asked, "What do you think we should do? I feel as if I'm supposed to do something." And it came to me. We should do good. People act as if life is so complicated sometimes, but really the answer is simple. We should all do good. And so this afternoon, an old friend and I will get together once again, and we'll get a box of groceries together, and will drop it off. We'll do good. Who knows what will come of it? But we'll do good.

10 comments:

Lori said...

Brava! You're good people, Debby!

BUSH BABE said...

Shame the series of people BETWEEN the shoplifting and the reading of the story in the paper didn't do the same... or did they?

Good on you. Hope someone is keeping an eye on him long-term though...
:-)
BB

Anonymous said...

I read the same thing and felt I need to do something. You two have inspired me to follow through with doing something. Thank you!

Mrs. Spit said...

Ahh Debby. That's amazing. So are you and Mary.

I wonder, could you knock on the door. Maybe he needs some help wrangling with the state people to get more assistance? I've had to do that, and it can be exhausting.

A Novel Woman said...

Yes, you and Mary did good.

But I have to say, I'm shocked that the newspaper would print his address! Is this normal practice?

Debby said...

Yes, Pam, actually it is. When a person is arrested his/her name, age, address are given in the paper, along with the details of what s/he was arrested for. It never really occured to me before. In this case, I think that the story should not have been run, only because there is obviously a bigger story here. He's very old. It could be dementia. He could have trouble managing money...there could be all sorts of extenuating circumstances here. I just keep thinking of how humiliating this could be for him, or for his family.

Kelly said...

You are one fine lady, Debby. Mary, too!

Bless you both!

Grahamn Kracker said...

Yes, even as we look to see what we can do, we need to turn our eyes backwards, upon ourselves - even upon an old man wandering hungry through Wal-Mart.

How does this happen in the USA?

Amanda said...

Bravo!
...I'm amazed that the police couldn't use some discretion and not arrest the poor bloke.

rhubarbwhine said...

Oh gosh. You really are an agnel, you know that?