The Old Man Who Fell At Walmart – Rant Alert!
The Old Man Who Fell At Walmart – Rant Alert!
An old man fell today in the Walmart in West Knoxville, Tennessee. This is not an extraordinary event. People probably fall in big box stores all over the country every day. It broke my heart and made me angry. I’ll tell you why.
I lost my father, Sergeant Albert T. Holt, Jr., USMC, at age 83 coming on three years ago. He had Parkinson’s Disease, macular degeneration, a quadruple bypass, several stents and a number of strokes. He refused to use a walker. He used a cane and fell a lot. I was never there when he fell because I live far away. I heard about all the falls, but it was never real for me until today.
We are about to get about two inches of snow here in the Tennessee Valley and we are in panic mode. I needed to go to the grocery store for food and I needed pink polka dot wrapping paper for my granddaughter’s birthday present. We are going to Zootastic in North Carolina for her birthday to play with sloths and lemurs and the like, so I wanted a pair of cheap gray pants that won’t show dirt and fur. Where do you go for totally rando items? Walmart.
I got my items and checked out with a very nice cashier. I moved forward to put away my debit card and retrieve my keys. Just then the old man rammed his walker into the wall going in to the men’s room and fell hard. I froze for probably two seconds. Several people just walked by him. A male Walmart associate who was well over six feet tall walked out of the men’s room and started to help him stand up. Another man came and tried to help. It took several minutes to get the gentleman upright. Everyone else moved on. The store associate and I watched as the man repeatedly banged his walker into the wall trying to navigate into the men’s room. So I said, he cannot be here alone. I moved forward and asked the old man, “Who are you here with?” He didn’t answer. The associate asked him. No answer. I started yelling, “Who are you here with?” No answer. He finally got into the men’s room. I could hear him banging every step of the way. I told the associate to go in and find out who was with the man. He couldn’t possibly be in Walmart alone. The associate came out and said the man was incoherent and the associate was going to get a manager.
I couldn’t leave.
The tall male associate came back with a very short, white woman and a black woman about my height (5’7″). Several more men had gone into the men’s room in the meantime. The male associate came out and told the white woman, apparently an assistant manager, you can’t go in there. We could all hear the sounds of the man banging around. Finally, the assistant manager yelled into the men’s room, “Put it away, guys. I’m coming in.” This, people, is why she is an assistant manager. The black woman stood outside the restroom to keep others out. I said to her, “He cannot possibly be here alone.” She said, “Oh yeah. There are drivers that just drop them off and pick them up. You wouldn’t believe what we see in here.” I didn’t want to leave. The black associate said, “The manager will make the call. If she needs to call an ambulance, she will.” I left then. It gave me some comfort to know that Walmart’s personnel would make sure the man was taken care of responsibly.
The old man with the walker wouldn’t leave my head. He had to be ninety years old, at the very least. Who in there ever loving right mind would drop an old man with a walker off at a bright and confusing big box store? What the heck was wrong with the people who didn’t even look down and drove their buggies right by a man laying on the floor? It’s not as if they looked and didn’t care. They walked on by living in their own world. This is not some anonymous big city. This is not some run-down inner city. This is West Knoxville. This is the home of the Tennessee Volunteers. This is the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton and Rocky Top. This is not who we are. What the heck is wrong with people?
The old man with the walker still wouldn’t leave my head. I got to thinking about Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Abortion Ghouls of New York, as Deanna put it for Victory Girls. Read her post here. We are at our most vulnerable at the beginning of life and at the end of life. If The State can end your life before it starts, what in the world makes anyone think that The State won’t decree that you are a burden at the end and legislate your death. Do you want the last words you every hear to be, “Is the needle ready?”
Everyone on the left and the pristine Kewpie Dolls on the right kvetch about how President Donald Trump has coarsened the national conversation and culture. Au contraire, mon frere. It took decades for us to get here. Brash men like Donald Trump have always been around. They don’t bother me. It’s the every day coarseness and lack of care for other people’s feelings that crushes our nation. Life has become nearly as cheap here as it is in North Korea, China and Venezuela. When you lust after other people’s money, resent your fellow citizen and don’t care for the vulnerable, that’s on you, baby girl, not the President of the United States.
Take care of the old people. That old man with the walker was/is someone’s baby boy, lover, father and grandfather. He deserves our gentle care.
Finally, a brief video I made when my Dad died. Backed by his favorite song in the whole world.
I love you, Dad.