Today ended up rather emotional for me. Enough that it’s taken me a bit to actually post this.
Initially my photo was going to be of a lady playing solitaire on her laptop during a PD session we were in. But as I was leaving work a snow storm had come in and I got this shot below which I present in both the themed Black and White as well as my prefered Red and White. I call it Nuclear Winter because the direction you’re looking in is where downtown Edmonton SHOULD be. But it’s gone, and the buildings that can be seen look like tattered remains.
And I thought sweet! That shot is AWESOME! But then, as I reached my car, I saw something. A person, a man I believe, bundled up, pushing another bundled up person, I think a woman, in a wheel chair. Except they weren’t moving. I figured okay, it’s really snowy, and the wind is rather harsh. Perhaps they’re just pausing. I don’t know how quick the storm came in, maybe it caught them off guard and they were just holding on waiting for it to pass. I looked back and they were going again so I got in my car, started it up. I looked out, and they had stopped again. I thought to myself, that’s gotta suck. I felt bad for them, so I took a picture, thinking “I can post this picture and make people think for a moment.” Make people think about how some of us don’t have life very easy. I thought it was a pretty good thing to do.
Then they started up again. It was obvious that pushing the wheelchair was extremely difficult for the person pushing. I hadn’t noticed him struggle till now. I felt like crap. I thought, what can I do? Get out and help him push? I had no idea where they were going. In an area with a lot of homeless people I kinda figured they’d just be going someplace else outside. I assumed my offer to help would be appreciated but ultimately un-needed or otherwise unhelpful. So I snapped a picture of the struggle. I turned away to look out my front window, ran through my brain again what I could possibly do, decided there was nothing I could do and set my car into first gear.
As I shoulder checked to see if traffic was coming so I could turn out I noticed that a couple of guys, I’m guessing students from MacEwan, who had been walking a bit behind me had now crossed the street and were talking to the couple with the wheelchair. I thought Wow! That’s awesome guys. It’s really great to see that there are better peple out there than me. These two guys insisted on helping. One pushed the wheelchair, the other walked with the man who, even though he was no longer pushing the chair, still had to take breaks while walking as he had very obviously had a bad back, or had even injured it. I thought, I should take a picture. But for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Partly because I needed to turn my car around and doing so would potentially have them look my way and see I was taking a picture. I’m very self conscious about that and it’s taken me a long time get photos of people you can’t identify. So I just started heading home.
On the way home I thought, you know, this is a story that should be printed in a newspaper. There’s always bad news in the papers but heres a great story of selflessly helping another human being. If I was a quicker thinker, and had more guts, I would have taken their photos and their names, written the story and submitted it to the Journal or the the Sun. Now all I have is a memory and four faceless people.
Then again, maybe that’s enough.