today was filled as usual with drug-deprived, and randomly angry people. i was feeling frustrated and angry myself, at times, because i felt like they kept interrupting my day that work had planned for me. just trying to complete my daily duties was proving to be a challenge. i gave up at 2:20pm and went to lunch, feeling hungry and a little shaky. when i came back from lunch, it was still crazy busy but i managed to get the hard part of one large task completed after about an hour and a half of working on it. i thought, now i can start working on another task that was supposed to be completed in the morning. i was waiting on a line of people and i hear from the waiting room chair a familiar voice. an elderly man that was a regular, as a matter of fact, he had been coming there since i started over 7 years ago. only then, he was a little younger, he didn’t use a walker like he does now. he used to come in to pick up he and his wife’s prescriptions. he would usually bring something good….mostly donuts and coffee. and they were freshly made, sometimes still warm and the coffee strong and hot. it was always perfect timing, as we would appreciate the snack and the caffeine-sugar rush! he would joke about how he always got the last word in at home…..”yes ma’am”. we would all laugh while tearing into the fresh warm donuts. after hugs and kisses he would go, but he would always stay and talk a while. sometimes, we would hurry him up as we would be really busy. after a few years, his wife developed alzheimer’s, but he would still come in to get her meds and talk about her with love. as the years went by, she eventually passed away, as we all must, but i had to choke back the tears as he came in and told us that sad day. we knew he would be lost without her to care for. i noticed when he came in, he would spend a lot more time, either talking to us or talking to anybody in the waiting room. he always joked and laughed. today was like all the other days, he now comes in with a walker and gets a few more meds than he used to. i got his meds out of the bin and called him up to the counter so i could get him finished up. as he finished, he started telling me about his granddaughter’s baby, who started calling “abuela abuela”. as the tears welled up in his eyes, he began telling me how he fell in love with his wife when he first laid eyes on her long, long ago. how they were too young, and how the war affected them. he stood there for i don’t know how long and began telling me the whole beautiful love story of the life he and his wife shared for over 60 years together. i thought for a brief second of how i should try to hurry him a bit because i had so much hanging over me to finish. but i stopped, or rather my heart swelling stopped me. i found i was the one fighting back tears as i listened, really listened to him. i felt his love and heartbreak. i shared his melancholy joy of describing his great granddaughter to me and how she loved a great grandmother that she would never meet. thank you mr. a, for brightening my day and reminding me of what is most important.
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