I was preparing a rant against dementia (I know it’s been done many times), but I decided to focus instead on the kindnesses of people I meet. My wife was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at 52. She is approaching or already in the late stages of the disease. Last week we flew, for probably the last time, to visit her family.
We flew Southwest and all of their employees that we interacted with were kind and considerate. They were patient and reassuring when it took several minutes to get her in or out of her seat. More than once I was asked if she needed a wheelchair (she walks fine, I just hold on to her so we don’t get separated in a crowd). Even TSA was considerate; she didn’t understand what they were asking her to do, but they were patient and got her through security successfully.
When we were at her sister’s house, her sister took her to get a haircut. My wife wouldn’t sit in the chair at first, so the hairdresser just worked around it by starting the haircut with her standing up. My sister-in-law’s husband is kind of gruff and anyone leaving lights on or not putting things away in the correct place really sets him off. But, when it comes to my wife, he becomes a teddy bear and has the patience of Job.
And last year, when my wife went to Six Flags for the last time, the woman from the restroom. At that time my wife could still use the toilet by herself, however, she wasn’t able to find her way out of the restroom. I was standing outside and a woman came out of the restroom, looked around and then walked up to me. She asked me if I was waiting on someone and if she was alright. I said she wasn’t, so she went back into the restroom and led my wife out to me.
I know that objectively, these are all little things. I even think that most people are decent human beings on an individual level. But, given the number of people in the news these days who can’t get over that low bar, I want to point out some of these nice people in the hopes it will help me get over the depression I feel some days when I read the news or Facebook.
Anyway, hopefully other people have stories of acts of kindness that will help restore my faith in humanity.