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“Tell the Gang Hello”

Jerry had to go to his doctor’s (in California)  for a routine check-up, so Wednesday night after church here in Lake Havasu we drove to Crestline and spent a couple of days in our home there. I went down to Redlands with him on Friday and while he was with his doctor I popped over to WalMart and to Berean Bible Book Store.

Anticipating that a gaggle of family members will find their way to our house for Thanksgiving, I filled my WalMart basket to the brim–paper towels, tp, laundry detergent, apple juice, soft drinks, cocoa, yeast, canned goods….and the like. Only one person was behind me in the checkout line–a gentleman in a wheelchair. My checker was a somber, slow lady, looking over my purchases, then, in a sauntering way, reaching here and there for an item that would fit nicely into the bag she was filling. Once from the corner of my eye, I saw the gentleman behind me back up his chair, as though to change lines, then, I suppose having a change of mind, pulled it back in line behind me. I smiled at him.

Finally there was a space on the counter behind my groceries, and there the gentleman placed three small items. “Yours is easier than mine,” I said to him.

“Yes, I’m buying only for myself. Looks like you have quite a gang there.”

“I do,” I responded. I thought to tell him there really is only Jerry and me, that we live up in Crestline, and that mostly these days we are in Lake Havasu, but that we have a large family and I’m hoping many of them will come for Thanksgiving, and about the week I just had with some of the grandkids…but I didn’t say anything. Just stood there thinking. Thinking of my great family…and wondering about the gentleman in the wheel chair. Did he have family? Children? Live nearby? Spend Thanksgiving together? A rather lonely air accompanied him.

I paid the clerk, took the receipt she handed me, and before I placed my hand on my basket to push it away, I turned to the gentleman. “Hope you have a good day.”

His face brightened. Then he spoke. “Tell the gang hello for me. Tell them hello”

Brought up short, I paused for a minute, then responded. “I will. I will tell them.”