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Friday, May 13, 2016

Thank Heaven for Sons and Dollar General

Love and Hate in the same picture
Dollar General stores are boldly going where no other retailers will go. Just when you think you're in the middle of nowhere, you round a corner and there sits a brand new DG oasis. Some of their locations don't even have names. I stopped at one of those namless locations on Day 2 - the crossroads of Hwy 411 and Georgia 140 (the devil of roads). That's where I met the Son. As I set outside in the lawn chairs that were for sale, sharing a smoke with Lynn - she was on break smoking - and I was just inhaling - a car came flying to a stop just in fron of us. The driver was a portly young man around 40 years old and his passenger was an obviously feeble lady - maybe late 80s. The young man jumped out of the car and frantically asked the smoking Lynn where the bathroom was located inside the store. Pause here to say - I profiled him. He looked like Cam on Modern Family - pudgy, more pony-tail than top hair and the "accent" we all know but shouldn't judge.  What he did next sort of caught Lynn and I off guard. He jerked open the door, picked up the elderly lady and carried her into the store. When he came out of the store without her (he left her in the restroom) he opened his trunk and retrieved a wheelchair. I could tell he wanted to talk so I got up and approached him. By simply asking if that was his mom, I opened his emotional floodgate. Turns out it was his mother. He was a nurse and eight years ago he got aids. He almost died and in fact had considered suicide. He has brothers and sisters, none of which wanted anything to do with care-giving. We broke off our conversation while he rolled the wheelchair in to get his mom. After he loaded her back in the car, we talked some more. He seemed to need it. I shared my experience with my mother's end days. What he said next moved me to tears. He said "I think God has spared me in order to take care of mother - I just pray He will let me live long enough to see it through - she will be all alone without me." I mumble something unintelligible. I shook his mom's hand - her eyes reflected a liveliness that her frail body betrayed and I told her "You have a very good son". She smiled and nodded an "I know". Thank God for Sons and Dollar General.

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