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What does a wheelchair and an ATM have in common - me.

       Have you ever tried to help someone and it back fired badly? I have wanted to find this person from Missouri to say sorry for so long. 

           It was before my second son and daughter were born when living in Missouri that one faithful day, my life had changed. Coming from New York, Billy and I were bagel “snobs” and finding a good bagel became a challenge. We had found a small bagel shop about forty minutes south of our house, that came close to a good bagel. The only problem was that this  bagel store was not in the best area. We didn’t care about that as coming from New York we were never intimated going into any neighborhood.  One day, I packed up Patrick who was probably around one and half, and made the trip down to get bagels for the week. It was early in the morning and I got my bagels and a cup of coffee. I was coming out of the store and was putting Patrick into the van. In the corner of my eye, I could see this man in a wheelchair approaching me with what seemed to be a coffee cup. He was raising his cup in air while rolling closer to me. I remember vividly that I did not have any dollar bills or change to give him and truly felt bad.  I made eye contact and with a sorrowful face said “I can’t help you.” He still was rolling closer and now was waving his cup higher and pointing to his cup. I was at that point getting nervous and then thought, what could he do to hurt me? 

       I then quickly got into the van with the window up as he was in front of my van still waving. I went to lower my window to say, please move when he calmly said “you left your coffee cup on top of your roof.” He then proceeded to turn and roll away. Ugh. I seriously opened my door, got my coffee cup off the roof, tried to say thank you but at that point, he was down the street. I’ve never forgotten that man or what happened that day to make me realize that things sometimes aren’t what they seem. To this day, I never, never judge someone based on their circumstances and nether should you.  

         Well, it came back to haunt me nineteen years later. It was just this past week when I was driving up to the ATM at Bank of America. The car in front of me had it’s break lights on so I became worried that this person would go backwards and hit me. I was a bit farther behind so I would not get hit and gently (yes, gently) tapped my horn to say, please don’t hit me. Well, this car almost immediately went in gear and drove off. I didn’t think anything of it and was glad that the car didn’t go backwards. When I was facing the front of the ATM, it was beeping “do you need more time to complete your transaction?” I thought, what the heck? I hit no and then the persons’ ATM card spit out. I can see the car taking off down the road so I took it and took off to get it back to that person. 

          I saw that persons car make a left on a back road so I thought this is not going to be a big deal to get along side of them to return their card. As I started to speed up, they started to speed up. I then got close enough to hang my hand out my window holding their card and I started to scream “hey - you left your ATM card in the machine!” I guess that made them scared as they took off. We went down three or four blocks when the car made a right and flew down the next street. I made the turn and sped up but to avail as they went through the light and made a left. I made the left still screaming - “wait - wait - I have your card!” I then saw the car went into a sub division and I went too. I half expected to see a cop car behind me at this point. I saw that the car pulled into a driveway and the garage door went up. I thought, please don’t make me get out and go the front door. I parked my car on the opposite side of the street to see this woman slowly get out of her car. I calmly said “you left your card in the machine and I wanted to get it back to you.” She looked horrified and embarrassed.  She walked over and said “oh I am so sorry, I didn’t understand why you were ‘chasing’ after me.” She thanked me and I was on my way. I did get a bit upset that I was just trying to help her. I could have emptied her account and instead I ran after her to give her back her card. I was just trying to help! Ugh, so was that man in the wheelchair nineteen years ago. You’re never too old to learn your lesson and sometimes it comes back at you when you least expect it. Life is funny, isn’t it? Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!

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