Mr. Husband and I took his uncle to a Coin Show in the Convention Center today. I was a little leery about the trip because he is in his 80s, can barely see or hear, has had seven stints in his heart and totters around with a walker with the tennis balls on the ends of it. He was a total trooper though.
I had to giggle a little when he took his pills when we had lunch. He carefully examined each one with a jeweler’s magnifier because that’s the only way he can see them to make sure he’s taking the right ones. Now that, my friends, is a determined person. I’m so proud and honored to be a part of his adventure. He was a high level banker in his heyday and is a coin and paper currency collector. He really wanted to go and loved every minute of it.
We went downtown on the train and I saw with whole new eyes what it is like to try to get around when you’re not steady on your feet or have to use a walker or wheel chair. It’s all too easy to take being healthy, able-bodied and mobile for granted. I made a mental note to get my lazy bee-hind of the sofa and out the door for a walk more often so I can hold off on the whole walker routine as long as possible.
The train stations are technically handicapped accessible and has elevated parts where a person in a wheelchair or with a walker can get on without using stairs, but it’s not at all clear where to stand be at that particular door when the trains stop. Shame on the station designers, these areas should be CLEARLY MARKED!!! Furthermore the few available seats on the platforms should be near those places. My hat is humbly removed to all brave people who live with disabilities on a daily basis and still get out there and live life to the fullest. Sheesh, I can get a hangnail and stay in bed for a week.
The coin show was a hoot and a holler. I had no earthly idea how many kinds of coins and currency exist. I can see why people develop a lifelong fascination with it. Some of it was total hooey of course. There was this one guy selling “widow’s mite” coins, supposedly from biblical times when Jesus kicked the money lenders out of the temple.
There was also a well-guarded museum exhibit including the highest grossing collectible coin to date, a buffalo nickel that sold at auction for 7 million dollars. That gives a whole new meaning to the old saying “he squeezed the nickel until the buffalo screamed.”
On the way home getting on the train, it started with a jolt one nanosecond after the door closed and uncle started to fall. He landed on a woman’s lap, scraped his hand on something and started to bleed. People jumped up to help and were digging in backpacks, pocket books and whatever they had, looking for something to help him. One woman even wanted to push the emergency button to stop the train, but uncle wouldn’t have any part of it. He pulled out an old-fashioned cloth handkerchief out of his pocket and wrapped his hand like the tough old cowboy that he is.
It warmed my heart to see that strangers wanted to help anyway they could. Some people even stopped to ask him if he was ok as they got off at their various stops. He was a gracious old gentleman and thanked them for their concern. I was grateful that I had sunglasses on so it wasn’t obvious that there were tears in my eyes. I don’t care what crusty old philosophers say. I think most folks are kind at heart.