An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Angels in the Mall

I went to the mall yesterday, and as I was wandering through a department store I kept hearing these unusual groans and loud outbursts. Eventually I realized that a group from a facility for the mentally disabled had come to spend an afternoon at the mall.

These were men curled up in wheelchairs, most of them in their 80's, wearing bibs and shouting out occasionally. Each wheelchair was pushed by a healthcare worker. I could tell these men were well taken care of . . . they all sported bright Christmas sweaters and it was obvious that the healthcare workers were trying to make things as festive as possible for them. Some of the wheelchairs were even decorated.

As I was standing in line to make a purchase, I noticed that some people were uncomfortable with the outbursts these men were making. I also noticed that some were even annoyed, rolling their eyes and sighing at the disruptions.

I looked at those healthcare workers caring for those poor men and thought that they were a living example of what Christmas is all about; they deserved better than the dirty looks they were getting because, heaven knows, they were doing a job that not many of us could do. I know I couldn't.

So I got out of line and walked over to the group standing nearby. In a voice that carried back to the register, I touched one of the workers on the arm and said, "You are angels, every one of you. I think it is so wonderful that you bring these men to the mall and let them experience a little holiday spirit. Really, God bless you."

To be honest, I was really nervous, but when the healthcare worker looked at me and gave me this warm smile . . . it was so worth it.

"To love another person is to see the face of God."
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo


Lisa said...

Bless you, Bia! A dear uncle of ours (a victim of cp) was in this situation and there truly cannot be enough said to praise the patience and love of the people who care so well for the handicapped! (Prayers are needed for those who do not give and get such good care, as well...)

How wonderful that you spoke up for them ~ I know it must have made these angels' day. They are not lauded enough!

Lisa said...

Oh! Btw! Something for you over at my place... &:o)

Nancy said...

You Rock. I bet you made those Angels' day. :) And I hope you made those others stop and think about things.

Laura said...

Very nice.

Kathryn said...

Bia, you became an angel to them as well!!

Kim H. said...

You also were an ANGEL in that moment. What a wonderful example of loving, Christian charity -- the real reason behind the season.

I'm so proud of you!

SuzyQ said...

Good for you to say something.
It must have made the careworker feel really wonderful.
God Bless.

E said...

I get blessed every time I come over here. Yes. Thank you Bia. And bless you back

GrandmaK said...

What a tender post. We should all be visited by the "Spirit of Christmas" as you were. Please drop by when you can and pick up your gift. Cathy

Cathy Adamkiewicz said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story! What a good reminder that we can make such a difference with a kind word. I know you did when you spoke to them!