It was mid-morning about a week before Christmas, and I had a pile of Christmas cards to mail. A few cars dotted in the post office parking lot, and all I wanted to do was quickly unload the cards into the curbside mailbox.
Howver, the mailbox sat on the curb in front of a handicapped parking space. I looked around the lot again. One person had pulled into the second row and was getting out of his car. No one else was around and at least three other handicapped spots were available. I pulled up onto the slashes of yellow paint, planning to scoot up to the mailbox, drop the cards in, and be out of the spot in under a minute.
“Hey!” the man called out.
I looked back and saw him heading toward my car — using a cane. I quickly backed up and parked halfway across the lot. I didn’t want to get in trouble at Christmas for taking a handicapped parking spot. And I sure didn’t want to have that conversation with someone using a cane.
I waited in the car until he walked inside and then got out of the car and walked to the mailbox. As I finished stuffing the box with cards, he walked out the door.
“I was just going to say that I could take your mail in for you,” he said.
“Oh — that’s OK, I needed the exercise anyway.”
We both laughed and got in our cars.
I sat there a minute, shaking my head. I thought he was going to give me a hard time. Instead, he simply wanted to lend a helping hand.
The lesson: When I allow assumptions to limit my world, I miss out on a whole lot of quirky little miracles.
Also, never park in handicapped parking spaces.
Even if the parking lot is empty.