Sunday, April 11, 2010


I feel sorry for people. That's just my nature. There is a man who came into our store at least 9 times on Friday. He came at least that many times during the day, according to the staff. He continued to come in on third shift. He buys scratch-off lottery tickets. The man lives in a cheap motel across the street. He walks across the highway, over and over, and over again. Buying lottery tickets. Day shift said that he got belligerent when he didn't get any winners in one of his batches, but it didn't stop him from coming back repeatedly until on his last trip, he had about $8 in change to cash in. He could not afford the $10 tickets, or the $5 tickets, but he still had the money for $2 tickets and $1 tickets. He spent it all. We have not seen him since. It's not my business, but I've got this notion that he spent his entire paycheck on lottery. What will he live on until this Friday?

A fellow from our church is having a biopsy tomorrow. He says that it does not look good. I'm quite fond of the old fellow, tall and in his 80s. He came into the store after his announcement. I called across the customers, "Wait! Do not leave this store until I can get around this counter." I waited on everyone, and then scooted around to give Mr. B a hug, and to tell him how sorry I was to hear his news. He is surprisingly emotional. I tell him, "Listen, there are things that they can do for lung cancer. It's small, and gees, even if it is the worst thing, it may well be that it can be removed." And he looked down at me, from his great, great height, and behind his glasses, he said, calmly, "I have many other health problems, though." "No, no, no," I say. "Don't think like that, Bill!" And he said, "You know, I just want to face this with the same courage that you and Dolly did." Dolly was diagnosed with cancer in the midst of my own treatment. I look up at Bill, and I say, "We will encourage you, just like we encouraged each other." And Bill smiles. He knows that I will, he says. He tells me that I am always an encouragement to him, and he heads out of the store with his newspaper tucked under his arm.

There are such a lot of people in this world who need prayers.


WhiteStone said...

I've never liked the lottery. Years ago I worked in a convenience store. We had one young fellow who stopped be several times a week to buy scratch tickets. His wife and four barefoot kids stayed in the car. Not a penny to spare.

I think it is criminal that our States offer this carrot stick of fake hope to those who already live in hopelessness. A one in a million chance? What kind of hope is that? And the State takes the money that should have been spent on a gallon of milk to buy false hope. (I'm not negating the guy's own responsibility in this...just sayin'.)

The lottery is, in effect, a tax on the poor.

Jayne said...

So sad.

Anonymous said...

...and prayers are good.
~~~Holding up these people in prayer~~~

BUSH BABE said...

It's so easy to take on everyone else's issues... women especially seem to soak them up like sponges. I know I do... gambling is something I just don't understand. I don't have the genetic anomoly that is addiction. Mind you, I am now a farmer... so don't pay any attention to me at all. (The biggest gamblers of all!).

Lori said...

I hope they are able to help your friend. My father had lung cancer when he was in his 60s, and they were able to remove a third of one lung and got all the cancer. He lived another 14 years after that.