Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jim, Part II

Jim came into the store today.

After taking a break from Jamba Juice over the summer, I’m back once again. Back to the world of blenders, frozen fruit, fresh OJ, sticky shoes and sore hands. It feels like old times again; many of my friends still work there, the smoothies are the same, and my customers get excited when they see me again.

I had missed Jim over the summer and, when I’d drive down Fulton Ave and see him slowly trudging along the sidewalk, I’d worry about him. How was he? Were they making his coffee like he liked it? And more importantly, where was he sleeping? Was he hungry? Was he okay?

I was the pre-closer today, and as I scrubbed on the orange juice machine, I heard the door open and I suddenly smelled Jim. Turning around, juice-filled rag dripping in my hand, I found Jim wearing new faux-aviator glasses he had found. “Someone left them on a table”, he said, pointing outside. “I waited for a couple hours, but I think they look better on me...so I’m borrowing them.”
You look dashing”, I replied.

Jim was wearing the same clothes he had worn the day I left, back in June. They were a bit more tattered now, with new stains and holes in the knees. He wanted a coffee, but he only had a dollar. “I’m not sure why I’m here”, he mumbled, “I only have a dollar....”, and he turned to leave, embarrassment rising beneath his scruffy beard.
I rang him up for free. Not sure how I’ll explain that one to my manager yet, but I’ll come up with something. His eyes watered and he smiled. “I missed you”, he whispered.

There were other customers to serve, smoothies to be made, and a manager to dodge, so I had to leave him with his coffee. Some fifteen minutes or so later, as he wiped down his corner of the bench and thew away his cup, he waved me over. As I approached, he struggled to pull something out of his patchy leather wallet. A photograph. Dirty, wrinkled fingers held out a picture of a chubby baby laughing, blond curls playing ‘round his ears. “He’s my grandson”, Jim beamed at me. “I’ve never met him. I had an ugly divorce when his dad was 16...I haven’t been allowed to talk to my son since. I don’t know how old the baby is now...or where they live. But this is him. He’s my grandson.”

--
Jim’s visit made me realize two very different things.
First, if someday, when I’m a doctor, I can do something for a patient to earn the kind of smile Jim smiled at me today, all those medical school loans will be worth it. Every single cent just for that smile.
Second, I realized how incredibly fortunate and blessed I am. I have a family who loves me, a place to go home to, a snack to eat before bed, clothes to change into, a toothbrush and a comb.
Life is so hard for many, many people...including Jim. I am so incredibly loved and blessed. God truly does have me in the palm of His hands.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Made me cry; poor Jim. Glad you could show him some kindness.

ALEX said...

Si, a veces no nos damos cuenta de que otras personas viven o mejor dicho, malviven dia a dia y lo que a nosotros no nos cuesta nada valorar, como es tener agua corriente, una ducha, un cepillo de dientes o un plato de comida caliente en la mesa a otras personas le falta todo eso.
Debemos dar gracias a Dios por lo que tenemos.
Por cierto, perdona si el texto no esta bien en ingles, es que lo puse en un traductor.
Ah y te envio un poema de un poeta español: Calderon de la Barca...
No he creido oportuno traducirtelo ya que algunas palabras estan en castellano antiguo. Puedes decirle a tu madre que te lo lea.

POEMA

Cuentan de un sabio que un día
tan pobre y mísero estaba,
que sólo se sustentaba
de unas hierbas que cogía.
¿Habrá otro, entre sí decía,
más pobre y triste que yo?;
y cuando el rostro volvió
halló la respuesta, viendo
que otro sabio iba cogiendo
las hierbas que él arrojó.
Quejoso de mi fortuna
yo en este mundo vivía,
y cuando entre mí decía:
¿habrá otra persona alguna
de suerte más importuna?
Piadoso me has respondido.
Pues, volviendo a mi sentido,
hallo que las penas mías,
para hacerlas tú alegrías,
las hubieras recogido.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca 1600-1681


Yes, sometimes we do not realize that other people live, or rather, barely survive day to day and what we do not cost anything to assess, such as running water, a shower, a toothbrush or a meal Hot on the table to others all that is missing.
We must thank God for what we have.
By the way, sorry if the text is not well in English, is that I put in a translator.
Oh and I send you a poem by Spanish poet, Calderon de la Barca ...
I have not seen fit traducirtelo because some words are in old Castilian. You can tell your mother that you read it.

ALEX said...

Si, a veces no nos damos cuenta de que otras personas viven o mejor dicho, malviven dia a dia y lo que a nosotros no nos cuesta nada valorar, como es tener agua corriente, una ducha, un cepillo de dientes o un plato de comida caliente en la mesa a otras personas le falta todo eso.
Debemos dar gracias a Dios por lo que tenemos.
Por cierto, perdona si el texto no esta bien en ingles, es que lo puse en un traductor.
Ah y te envio un poema de un poeta español: Calderon de la Barca...
No he creido oportuno traducirtelo ya que algunas palabras estan en castellano antiguo. Puedes decirle a tu madre que te lo lea.

POEMA

Cuentan de un sabio que un día
tan pobre y mísero estaba,
que sólo se sustentaba
de unas hierbas que cogía.
¿Habrá otro, entre sí decía,
más pobre y triste que yo?;
y cuando el rostro volvió
halló la respuesta, viendo
que otro sabio iba cogiendo
las hierbas que él arrojó.
Quejoso de mi fortuna
yo en este mundo vivía,
y cuando entre mí decía:
¿habrá otra persona alguna
de suerte más importuna?
Piadoso me has respondido.
Pues, volviendo a mi sentido,
hallo que las penas mías,
para hacerlas tú alegrías,
las hubieras recogido.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca 1600-1681


Yes, sometimes we do not realize that other people live, or rather, barely survive day to day and what we do not cost anything to assess, such as running water, a shower, a toothbrush or a meal Hot on the table to others all that is missing.
We must thank God for what we have.
By the way, sorry if the text is not well in English, is that I put in a translator.
Oh and I send you a poem by Spanish poet, Calderon de la Barca ...
I have not seen fit traducirtelo because some words are in old Castilian. You can tell your mother that you read it.

Javier Martinez Valles. said...

Un post que además de contarnos una buena historia nos lleva a la reflexión.

Saludos.

PD: Sería bueno que colocaras un traductor.