It’s so easy for people like me to look at life from the dark side—the glass is always half-empty… life isn’t really a bowl of cherries... you know what I mean. A 24-hour virus can feel miserable for any of us. Now think about what happens with a 500,000-hour virus.
That’s why what happened last week was particularly rare and wonderful. It was much more than a kind word or a hopeful diagnosis. It was real and it mattered. Who (?) what (?) could have done such a thing?
You don’t have to be ill to be suffering in the current economy. So many people have lost their jobs. Their houses, their health care, their hope.
Worse, many major corporations have figured out how to increase profits without adding people. What does America do now?
Store manager Pamela Bryan at the Boynton Beach, Florida, Home Depot, off Woolbright Road, had learned about my illness through her colleague, Lyndsay Oodlom.
They considered the struggle that my wife and I are enduring, spending day after day in the hospital and in doctor's offices getting test after test. They considered the million side effects of my illness, too.
In particular, they realized how deeply my being ill is affecting our two dogs. We have two cuties from the pound--- Dolce and Vita (remember the Fellini movie?). The growing Schnauzer Sisters need ever more exercise and fresh air. I can give them less and less.
It took these people, this company, less than five minutes to make a major decision: Donate, Assemble, Deliver, and Install a king-sized dog enclosure for our yard, to help our girls out.
We’re talking hundreds of dollars at retail, here. Home Depot well understood that medical bills are draining us, so this would have to be a zero budget project, across the board.
He organized a bunch of good-hearted staffers. They built this 360-cubic foot canine castle in-store. The next day, Todd, Scott Fales and Kerry Morrick somehow got it to our home, miles away, and erected it. They even thought to include solar netting to protect the girls from Florida’s torrid sunshine.
“It was just the right thing to do,” said Gordon.
“Our prayers are with you,” Lyndsay Oodlom affirmed.
Remember when people used to talk that way? And mean it? It was back in the days when we were all doing a lot better. Maybe that was part of the reason why.
So, what can America do now? Well, we can start by relearning that it is, in the end, people who count. We can start by looking at Home Depot. They’re big, but all big companies are not the same. What Home Depot Store #224 has done reminds us all of what we were; of what we can be.
I am writing this on the grass, in the kennel, as a light breeze cools the evening. Dolce and Vita lie peacefully beside me. When life is down to the simple things, this is pretty damn idyllic.
Thank you Home Depot!!
Writer Sandy Prisant, who worked as a management consultant in different parts of the world before he retired, now lives with his wife, Susan, in Florida. In March, he began writing a series about his chronic kidney disease. At the time, he said this was perhaps "his last writing project."