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As Time Goes By With Rich O'Brian: It is Good to Be Back

By Rich O'Brian

April 26, 2024

This week’s column marks my return to the pages of this publication with a grateful heart. I am thankful to Publisher Betsy Barnett who gave me a hiatus of several weeks to recover from an illness that brought me down temporarily. I’m grateful to Betsy and to those of you who inquired about my health and who prayed for my recovery.

It took place a number of weeks ago. I reached for a much needed product that happened to be located on the top shelf in this particular shop. I was limited in my ability to comfortably retrieve the product due to a previously worn-out shoulder, and perhaps a slight foray into the upper echelon of, dare I say it—age. Okay, I said it!

As I struggled unsuccessfully to bring down the item, I noticed a lady who was successful in her effort to reach high and succeed without so much as a grimace. It was at this point that I gave in, put away my pride and said to the lady, “Ma’am, would you mind giving me a hand? I’m afraid I am not able to retrieve my needed product.” It was with that I began talking about how embarrassed I was, a man, to ask a lady to help me.

It was with that poor effort on my part that the lady let me have it. She not only reached up and got the product down for me, but she also said, “Don’t be silly. It’s a privilege for me to help you.” Then, she went on to say, “My name is Becky and I think we would be a poor representation of who we’re supposed to be if we didn’t take every opportunity to assist others even when we’re not asked to help.”

She was right, of course. And besides, she got my item down from the shelf. We visited briefly and I managed to slip into our conversation something about Dianne’s and my 50th Wedding Anniversary we were celebrating. She congratulated me and asked me to pass her best wishes on to Dianne.

Becky turned and went her way, and I went my way and caught up with my wife Dianne, elsewhere in the store.

It might have been an hour or so later when Dianne and I left the store that we came face to face with guess who? Yes, there she stood waiting on us, Becky with a bouquet of flowers with her instruction, “Rich, these are for your wife.” With that, Becky handed the flowers to Dianne and hurriedly took off. Another act of kindness by a person who obviously believes in “Be kind, one to another.” It was a lesson I certainly shall not forget, no matter where I am. I certainly won’t forget her generous act of kindness here in The Garden of Eads.