I have a friend. His name is Eric. I see him every grocery shopping day. He works until 4 o’clock. He bags groceries, or sweeps the floors…he doesn’t like sweeping very much but he gets it done. Sometimes he wears a bow tie to work, Eric is short, he has light brown hair, sparkly eyes and a big smile.
I always look to see which checkout he is working at. We have a “thing” I don’t like my bread in a bag, I like it seperate and put in the front of the cart…Eric knows this and has known this for years. Often times he jokes with me and says “What would you do to me if I squished all your bread in one bag?” He often answers my glowering look himself with “Guess I don’t want to find out.” Often he will stop the cashier in her tracks if she starts to put my bread in a bag.
I think he waits for us on grocery day, one day we were a little late and he was on his way out the door…he said “Ya know I only work until four. You should come earlier.”
Sometimes he is on cart duty, retrieving the carts from their corrals. This week as I got out of the car in the parking lot at the grocery store Eric met me with a cart. He said “I figured you would be needing this.” I said “Thanks Eric you are a doll!” he said “I know and I think you are pretty special too.” So I gave him a hug!
Sometimes Eric goes to the East Coast on an Airplane to visit his family. He usually tells me when he is going and when he will be back. His parents used to live in Park Rapids but they were elderly and needed to move in with Eric’s sister. Eric stayed behind, he has his own house and his job. He takes his job very seriously. I am sure that he is never late for work. I am not sure that his employers know how fortunate they are to have Eric working for them.
Eric has Down Syndrome…an extra 21st chromosome…one that makes him extra special.