A SATURDAY OUTING TO CRACKER BARREL
Today TLC wanted to take the patients to Cracker Barrel for lunch. I asked Rick if he wanted to go, and he was very adamant...yes, he wanted to go. He wanted to eat a steak and baked potato. We've been on outings before, but I knew this one would be different. When we went to the Tech Museum and to Main Event, our group was pretty much the only people there. I knew Cracker Barrel would be packed on a Saturday, plus eating for Rick is one of the harder things...he still chews very slow, needs help keeping his face & clothes clean, and sometimes needs help manipulating his fork. So, I prayed for this outing to be successful and mainly for Rick to enjoy himself. Manuevering the wheelchair through the Cracker Barrel store and into the restaurant was a bit tricky, but not too bad. We had a lot of people staring and even the kids noticed it...this made me uncomfortable. We were seated as a family, not with the TLC group...that's just how it worked out. We ordered and tried to act as "normal" as possible. Rick did fantastic with feeding himself, I only had to help out a few times and did so as discreetly as possible. Cade sat next to Rick and helped out, too. When it was time to go, I breathed a sigh of relief. The kids went to the restroom so I moved over by Rick and was talking to him when an older couple motioned me over to their table. The man said, "Can I please have your ticket...I'd like to pay for your meal." I was astonished, and caught of guard. "No sir", I said, "you don't have to do that." And he said, "but I want to...I noticed throughtout your meal how caring and loving your family is to him, and I want to buy your meal". I started crying...I was really overwhelmed...guess we weren't as discreet as I thought. I brought Rick over to him, explaining what had happened, and Rick took off his hat, and said, "thank you". I only caught the first names of the couple Marian and Anita. Marian explained that his previous wife had Alzheimers and he had spent years caring for her before she passed away. He said to me, "be sure to take care of yourself" He was so kind. As we moved on, Riley accidently bumped into someones chair, they were quick to apologize for being in the way and then as Riley stood on the porch waiting to go, a woman came over to her and said, "Is that your dad?" And Riley said, "yes ma'am". And she said, "well, you and your family take such good care of him, and I just love it...be sure to always always take care of your parents." The love of God, through the kindness of strangers, shined brightly today.
God Bless You All...and a special blessing to Marian and Anita