Thankful for compassion, decency of others

To the Editor,

Yesterday (7/30) my family gathered at Moody’s to start making preparations for the passing of my loving wife. At one point I needed a bit of time alone. I went for a “walk” to pray and get myself together. I put the word walk in quotes because I have been wheelchair-bound for several years.

I wheeled my way without much concern, having lived in Mount Airy some years ago. It was quite hot, but there was a steady breeze that kept the sun from being oppressive. Well, I had to roll to wherever I could find driveways and corners that I could roll onto.

In and around Lovill Street (near Spencers) there are several uphill slants that a walking man might not notice, but were rather tough in my chair. I stopped to rest often. At one point a young lady (likely in her teens) came up behind me in her stocking feet. “You looked like you could use this,” she said, handing me an ice cold bottle of water. She offered additional help, but I thanked her sincerely and rolled on once she made sure a nearby trash can was out of my way.

A bit later I found a small bit of shade that quickly deserted me. Two gentlemen were loading equipment onto a nearby vehicle and came over to see if I needed help. They introduced themselves and shook my hand. I definitely recall that one was named Claude and sadly his friend’s name slips my mind. We chatted and they rolled me up the hill to a shady corner.

I said a quiet prayer of thanks for the two men and no sooner did I open my eyes than another gentleman by the name of Skye stopped as well. We chatted for a bit and then my son pulled up to take me home.

I got to share fellowship with these good people that I may never see again but will never forget. We hear so much about hatred and indifference these days. I wanted to take a moment and tell everyone that compassion, caring, and the decency that made the South famous is still alive in Mount Airy. In the deepest grief of my life, these people came to me, perhaps at God’s whisper in their hearts, and provided comfort and friendship.

Bruce Barker


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