Story by Christina Herr
“I went to work today still feeling exhausted and just generally not well, and sounding like a pack-a-day smoker. I took everyone’s advice and left early to go to an urgent care office near my work. Diagnosis: A viral upper respiratory infection has now led to full on bronchitis.
It was time for me to start heading back to Lapeer by the time I was done, so I picked up the little ones from daycare, drove home (where Christopher’s after-school sitter had swept my kitchen floor and wiped off my sticky table that I was just too tired to worry about last night. I hadn’t asked her to, she just did, and I was so thankful!), and drove to the pharmacy with all three kids in tow. It’s okay, I thought, I’ll just use the drive thru pharmacy at Meijer, and no one will have to get out of the car and it will be glorious.
Except that the drive thru option was out of order. Okay, fine, we’ll go in. We go in and we were told that the wait would be about an hour. So we left, got some dinner, and came back, where they said it would be a little while longer. So I plopped down in a chair in the waiting area while the kids proceed to take turns testing out the interactive Dr. Scholl’s display…because orthotic support is fun for kids, apparently. They were being generally well-behaved, and goofy, and the four of us had some funny banter going on while waiting because I was trying really hard to stay positive, especially after yesterday’s disastrous shopping trip incident.
There was a gentleman waiting two seats down from me who looked our way and laughed a few times at something the kids said or did, but no words were exchanged. Well, I might have said that I need to write a book of funny kid stories after Jackson called out ‘Mommy! Evelyn’s climbing on all of the diapers!’ as she perched herself on the bottom shelf that housed all of the Depends. But no other words beyond that.
After a few minutes, the pharmacy tech came out and asked to see my insurance card again because something wasn’t processing correctly. I mentioned again that since it’s Tricare (which is the military insurance provider), it’s always listed under my husband’s SSN. It was supposed to have been in the system already, but she told me she’d run it again and get it sorted out as soon as possible. And so we continued to wait.
Then, Evelyn gave me the look. The look that no parent wants to see while they are in the middle of waiting somewhere inconvenient and have no extra clothes with them. When the bathroom is allllll the way on the other side of the store. The “Uh-oh, mom. I’m about to poop my pants.” look.
‘Boys! Follow mommy! Quick!’ I shouted, and I carried Evelyn the only way you can carry an (almost) 3 year old who’s trying not to poop her pants. Under her arms, straight up, with her legs together. I’m walk/running as fast as I can, the boys trailing behind me, and I’m encouraging her to hold it until we get to the bathroom. She didn’t. But oh well, it could have been worse, and luckily, in the bottom of my purse, which I like to call The Abyss, I found a pull-up! Win!
We walk back to the pharmacy, and the tech calls me to the counter.
‘That man who was sitting next to you,’ she said about the man who was now gone, ‘he used to be in the service too.’
‘Oh, was he?’ I said politely, not thinking too much of it. He must have said something to her since he heard me say ‘Tricare.’
‘Yes. And you’re going to want to call the insurance company, because for some reason it still wouldn’t process the prescription. But you’re all set.’
‘But wait, if it didn’t go through, do I just pay out of pocket? How much is it?’ I asked.
‘No no, you’re all set. That gentleman wanted to make sure a fellow military family was taken care of.’
I looked at the receipt stapled to the bag
My brain registered what that meant. I instantly started crying, blubbered about how nice that was, and told the kids that it was time to go.
‘Mommy, why are you sad?’ asked Jackson.
‘I’m not sad.’ I said. ‘People cry for different reasons. Sometimes people cry when they’re really, really happy.’
So thank you, thank you, thank you to the generous veteran at the Lapeer Meijer tonight who bought my medicine for me. It’s funny, because somewhat similar to the story I told yesterday, there was a lot he didn’t know. He didn’t know Chris leaves for the deployment this week. He didn’t know he’s already been gone since August. He didn’t know that we had meticulously budgeted our money this month in an attempt to get back on track with the Dave Ramsey plan and an $80 hit would have been a bummer. He didn’t know that I really, really needed a lift in spirits. He just saw a snapshot of our family, and made a choice based on that. And that choice made a huge difference in my day/week/life.”