Original Entry Date: March 11, 2017
Written by: Jonathan Stufft
Walter is 47 years old. He lives with an elderly woman who has befriended him. He has never had a driver’s license, and as a result rides his bike everywhere he goes.
Today, Walter rode more than a couple miles on this rusty old bike of his in order to get fresh produce. It was 15 degrees outside, and the wind-chill was pretty steady around 0 degrees.
That didn’t stop Walter. Upon his arrival, we offered him a warm cup of coffee to help ward off the cold. He accepted. As I thought more, I asked how he was going to get the 45-50 lb. box of produce home on just his bike.
He assured me he “would figure it out” and that he might just lay it across his handlebars. There simply wasn’t room from my quick eyeball measurement. I told Walter that I could put his bike in my trailer and give him a ride home with his produce. He stalled me several times with things like not wanting me to use up my gas.
After some assurance that I was more than happy to help, we agreed that when he was finished with his coffee, he would flag me down from helping others, and we would head out to his place.
He never flagged me down, but I did catch a glimpse of him putting his bike into my trailer, so I bee-lined for him and off we went. I asked him to direct me to his house. As we turned onto his street, he made a peculiar comment, “I’ll have to see which house it is. I’ll know it when I see it.”
That seemed odd to me. Nonetheless, he pointed out the house, we stopped, and I carried the box up the steps for him. When we got to the door, he knocked. We waited. He knocked. Finally, someone came to the door. Walter handed the man the box of produce. He said, “Take it. Don’t give me no lip about it either.”
Then he cracked a big smile. We turned together to walk away, and he told me that he knew that family could use the food. Shock. He rode his bike, in 0 degree wind-chill, to get food, and all to give it to another family.
I cried the entire way back to the produce distribution. Tears of joyful fulfillment.