Sweeter Than Donuts

Krispy Crème Donut locations were a fixture in Alabama when I was growing up.  The donuts could only be found fresh in larger cities like Birmingham.  The tasty treats were also sold packaged in rural grocery stores where we were able to buy them on a semi-regular basis.  I had my first one before I can even remember.

There is one Krispy Crème location in the city where I live now and yesterday after a visit to a nearby home store I decided to indulge myself.  The first bite every time of a Krispy Crème donut always takes me back to my growing up years and yesterday was no different … at first.

As I sat eating slowly and enjoying my coffee and donut, in came two young women in their early 20’s I would guess, each pushing someone younger in a wheel chair followed by another in their care who was physically the size of a young teenager.  The caretakers were smiling as they put Kristy Crème baker hats on each one in their charge.  The smiles on the faces of the hat wearers were joyful from ear to ear.

As I watched the scene it became obvious that the two in wheel chairs and the 3rd follower were victims of Cerebral Palsy or some condition of that sort.  Even the boy in the wheel chair whose speech was composed of only varying types of grunts was having no problem expressing his happiness at that moment.  As much of a positive impact the impaired ones made on me, the care takers demeanor was even more impressive.  They both were beaming genuine smiles from their faces as they interacted and attended to the three in their charge.  It was evident their expressions were honest, real and unaffected by all those who stared at their little human caravan.

Watching the keepers buy donuts and milk for those in their care, I noticed the caretakers did not buy anything for themselves.  Instead their time was spent helping the others who’s drinking and eating was not something two of the three could do completely alone.  I suppose I could do what the custodians were doing, but in my heart I know I could not do it with the joy and unaffected caring the caretakers exhibited.  Getting real with one’s self with a thought like that is humbling.

My experience at Kristy Crème yesterday was the catalyst for recognizing a number of things I am grateful for.  I am thankful there are people like the young caretakers who those they were taking care of depend on for their very survival.  There is gratitude within that my son, members of my family and those I care about are healthy and do not need a caretaker to survive.  I am thankful to have seen the joy and just plain fun those being cared for showed.  Their reactions to being at Krispy Crème appeared to be akin to taking some great and rare adventure.  I am grateful for the patience and kindness the Krispy Crème employees showed the traveling troop.  And I am thankful for the reminder to count my blessings.

I am reminded of the lyrics of a country song by Mark Wills:  Don’t laugh at me, don’t call me names, Don’t get your pleasure from my pain, In God’s eyes we’re all the same.

And for the young caretakers, I found these lines I dedicate to them.

Blessed are you that never bids us “hurry up” and more blessed
are you that do not snatch our tasks from our hands to do them
for us, for often we need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who take time to listen to defective speech,
for you help us to know that if we persevere, we can be understood.

Blessed are you who walk with us in public places and ignore the
stares of strangers, for in your companionship we find havens of

Blessed are those who forget my disability of the body and see the
shape of my soul.

Blessed are those who see me as a whole person, unique and complete,
and not as a “half” and one of God’s mistakes.

I have come to believe that the emotions and sometime tears that sometimes come when I write this blog each day are some of life’s greatest gifts to date. I am so very grateful for the ability to feel so deeply.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  Thornton Wilder

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