Over the Hill

Sometimes, good deeds are the best medicine

Our modern pharmaceutical industry is highly effective. It produces highly effective television commercials.

I suspect that’s one reason many people, including Mamie and I, take numerous prescription drugs. Of course, Mamie also spent five weeks this past summer in two hospitals.

She keeps her medications in one of those square, cloth, insulated, lunch bags with a zipper top and shoulder strap.

She takes it with her for doctors’ appointments. Somebody at the doctor’s office is sure to ask about her medications, so she has the whole collection right there to inventory. I recommend keeping your medications in such a bag, but I strongly caution against ever putting your medications bag on your car’s roof.

Leaving home to see one of Mamie’s doctors last week, I needed both hands free to help her into the car and to put her walker in the rear luggage space. So, I put her medications bag on the car’s roof and forgot it.

I didn’t miss it until we reached the doctor’s office in Templeton. I panicked. Once we got inside, I phoned one of our neighbors. They promised to search nearby streets for the little blue bag. My heart sank lower with each minute that passed waiting for their call.

Finally, my ringtone sounded. As I feared, they couldn’t find the bag. The doctor gave Mamie samples of some prescription medications to tide her over until we could buy more.

We made it home safely, although I was preoccupied with scanning road shoulders and street gutters looking for the bag instead of watching the road. I didn’t see any bag.

When we got home, we eagerly checked our telephone answering machine. Its light indicated one message. It was from the pharmacist at our pharmacy.

She said a man came in and turned in Mamie’s bag. He said he found it on the street near his home and saw the pill bottles were from that pharmacy. He didn’t give his name.

I rushed to the pharmacy. Mamie’s bag and medications were undamaged. What a relief. We’d avoided the red tape and expense of replacing Mamie’s medications.

But, I also felt something deeper. Corruption and coercion seem to be everywhere, but that unknown Good Samaritan had restored my hope for the human race.

He went out of his way to keep a stranger from suffering a loss and possible health problems. He didn’t know Mamie or me, but he did the responsible thing: He helped a fellow human.

Reach Phil Dirkx at phild2008@sbcglobal.net or 238-2372.