I was confused at first.
I mean, the car was stopped – for the most part – but, I didn’t even hear Ken take off his seatbelt.
Given that the Pats are the favorite to take home tomorrow’s AFC Championship, and that there’s a blizzard moving up the east coast, the parking lot at the Reading Market Basket was predictably packed around eleven o’clock this morning.
Full families, young couples, single moms, bundled babies, and long-time New Englanders navigated the bone-chilling winds, zig-zagging carts, and slow moving vehicles with equal parts focus and frustration.
In trying my best to avoid another accident (after all the insurance adjuster did show up yesterday to assess the damage from my fender-bender on I-93 last week), I had completely missed the elderly woman far off to the right. But my husband didn’t.
“Mom!” Briggs yelled from the backseat. “Where’s Dad going? Where’s he going!?”
“It’s okay,” I said calmly. “He must be helping someone.”
I kept the car still. My foot firmly on the brake as Briggs and I sat just about twenty feet from the store’s left side entrance.
Ken darted out in front of our car, took a hard left, and then reached down for something that appeared to be rolling toward the top of the next closest lane.
“Something got away,” I whispered.
Now, with what I could clearly decipher as a bottle of Market Basket brand Ginger Ale under his arm, I watched Ken jog back to an elderly woman who was clearly struggling to get her knees to cooperate.
The woman was standing outside of her car with a expression of genuine relief and gratitude…as if to say, I was afraid it was a goner.
I rolled up to where Ken was standing, he hopped back in, and Briggs asked:
“Dad what happened?”
Ken explained that he had seen someone in need, knew he could help, and so that’s what he did.
In our nearly twelve years together, I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with my husband multiple times over.
Today in that frigid Market Basket parking lot was another one of those heart-melting times.
(PS – This isn’t a picture from the Market Basket parking lot – just another moment of the two of us in love. :))