‘An older gentleman stopped us and asked, ‘Do you know how to make a cheese sandwich?’ He was veteran, and he didn’t know how to cook.’: Woman urges ‘don’t forget the Marks in the world who need you to say hello’

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“So, I recently made a statement on my personal page that I’m leaving Facebook and frankly, it was because I’m tired of the doom and gloom, and people being nasty to each other.

In saying that, helpful tips and posts about what’s working and what isn’t is not the issue. It’s the way we’re all treating each other that I have a problem with. This virus isn’t a political issue. It shouldn’t be an us vs. them thing. It’s a virus that is making some people really sick, and others not so much. We should be taking care of ourselves all the time, yet for some reason when it’s forced on people, they panic.

And that panic has turned into uncontrollable fear. And that uncontrollable fear has us seeing the worst in humanity. Hoarding essentials, people hurting other people because they think the world is coming to end; it’s just awful that we can’t seem to support each other instead of attacking. Myself included. I’ll own that.

So after I made my Facebook post, I went to the grocery store. I needed something for dinner. Very simple.

And while I was standing in the aisle with my daughter, we were approached by an older gentleman whose name is Mark. ‘M-a-r-k,’ he would tell us later, and he lives close. By himself. And he stopped us because he wanted to know how to make a cheese sandwich. He doesn’t know how to cook, you know. And he wanted to know if he should put butter or mayonnaise on the outside of his bread to grill it. I suggested butter. Because I think mayonnaise might be gross.

As he moved closer and closer to us, we didn’t back away. He wasn’t coughing or sneezing nor did he look ill. I told him my dad was in Korea. He said he was, too. And for forty five minutes, Kaitlyn and I were absolutely honored to listen to his stories of war and tales from overseas. He was careful with his language, knowing that eliminating the colorful words for Kaitlyn’s sake might dull his stories, but he told them anyway.

And then he told me that the reason he doesn’t cook is because he always goes out to eat, but they had shut down his favorite restaurant, so there he was, buying bread, cheese and White Castle microwaveable cheeseburgers.

And then, at some point, it dawned on me. He didn’t stop us because he didn’t know how to make a grilled cheese. He stopped us because he is lonely.

He’s lonely because he can’t go to his favorite restaurant and sit in his favorite booth and talk to his favorite server.

Because fear and panic is removing not just groceries, TP, and canned goods. It’s removing the very basic principles of humanity.

So, if you want my totally unsolicited opinion, wash your hands, be cautious, get what you need, and take care of your families, but by God, please, please be good to each other.

He had enough essentials, but on this day, he didn’t have enough love.

I think we can all use a little more of that, don’t you?

Put down your keyboards. Shove aside your ‘facts.’ Close your opinionated mouths. And just love each other.

Do your social distancing. Stay safe. But please don’t forget the Marks in the world who still need you to say hello.

We’re going to come out the other side of this at some point, one way or another. Let’s not destroy each other in the process.”

Courtesy of Diana Register

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register of Meridian, Idaho. Her books “Grief Life” and “Grief & Glitter” are available in print and on kindle. You can find more of her books here, and her podcast here. Connect with Diana on her author Facebook page, and Instagram.

Read about amazing acts of kindness during the coronavirus outbreak:

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‘An 80-year-old woman cracked her car window and explained, in tears, ‘We’re afraid to go in the store. We don’t have any family to help us.’: Woman urges ‘offer help to anyone you can’ during coronavirus hysteria

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