Anonymous good deed softens end-of-life discussion

January 8, 2014 

On the day after Christmas I had to meet with my 91-year-old mother’s doctor to discuss her end-of-life plans. As her main caregiver and one of her daughters, you can only imagine how hard this conversation was.

Mom qualifies for hospice care because of a failing heart. If you knew my mom, you would say hang in there, Pat. You can do this.

How do you have this conversation with someone that you love? But have that conversation we did.

She asked me to take her to a local store to get a few items, and I agreed. She stayed in the car and I whisked around the store in record time. As I took her back to her assisted living facility and went to use my cellphone, I realized I had left my purse in the grocery cart at a major grocery story in Hawks Prairie.

But this letter is not about how bad my day was, it’s about a good Samaritan who didn’t even know what a tough day I was having. I said a few prayers as I drove down from DuPont that my purse would be turned in. I waited in line while someone bought lottery tickets and another person checked out a movie.

I asked the clerk: “Did someone turn in a purse?” and she said what color and I told her and burst into tears.

Yes, some nice lady saw my purse in the basket and didn’t take my money, or take my credit cards or take my cellphone, but instead brought it in to the clerk and said someone left this and I bet they want it back.

So, thank you, good Samaritan on Dec. 26 around 7 p.m. for making my day.

I don’t think you can know how important your simple act was. I wish you a very happy new year.

Barbara Burgener is an Olympia resident.

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