Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Delightful Date ... Disturbing Ending

Tonight Pedro and I were blessed with the gift of a night out before our departure tomorrow. My sister and brother-in-law took our kids overnight, and this evening after the realtor did his walk-through in our house we were finally free to go. We enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner and a scrumptious dessert over coffee, and after unending days of packing and exhaustion were able to actually talk about these past weeks and what the next ones hold in store. It was a much needed, and much appreciated, break and time of relaxing and renewal.

Unfortunately, the date ended on a disturbing note. The first hint of unreality was tiptoeing around three or four men with hands on the holsters of their loaded guns (these were the bank guys emptying the ATM machines at midnight.) But as we turned the corner away from the armed men, we stumbled onto an even more unreal and upsetting scenario. We witnessed a huddle of mall security trying to load a soiled and still figure onto a stretcher. As Pedro stepped backwards, he narrowly missed putting his shoe into a puddle of red vomit - one of several - and we realized that the man on the stretcher must have collapsed a short while before. He was an older man and seemed to be completely unconscious or perhaps even dead.

The whole scene felt unbelievable - the mall security standing around with their radios buzzing but no one rushing or running and no ambulance or medical personnel in sight. What was most disturbing to me, besides not knowing if the man was dead or alive as we literally had to walk right past his motionless body on the stretcher to exit the area, was that there seemed to be no family members or anyone who truly cared there with him. Only one man not dressed in uniform seemed nervous but not agitated, as though perhaps he had stumbled upon the body but was not personally connected with the stricken individual.

We left without knowing what had or would happen, and as we drove home all I could think about was this man collapsing alone and no one there to help him. I silently prayed that he might still be alive and that someone would help him and that he would somehow know the Lord.

Needless to say ... it was a sobering drive home.

1 comment:

Terri Fisher said...

I'm glad you guys got a night out, but sorry it had to end on such a sad note. Sometimes the reality of the world we live in is too hard to witness in living color, you know? But God allows us to witness it for a reason, and I'm sure your prayers were heard on that man's behalf. Love you!