Have we lost our soul in this country?


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To the Editor:

As my wife entered our home crying I had thought the worst. Over the past 3 years she has been fighting a battle with stage 3a breast cancer and the aftereffects from the treatments. Chemotherapy, radiation and now Tamoxifen drug treatments have taken a toll on her body. Now along with that comes the side effects. Weight loss,hair loss lymphoid problems, loss of feeling in the hands and arms. All symptoms that have to be dealt with on a daily basis.

So as she entered our home like this I thought "what now?" not realizing that a poor excuse for a person had brought her to tears and yet another person gave her hope.

My wife has always been a do it yourself type of woman and never on any given day would ask for help unless necessary. So upon being able to drive locally again she felt a new sense of worth and ability to be able to run a few errands in the town of Milford.

During her down time I would use her vehicle and put gas in it not realizing that something as simple as a gas cap would make me realize that there is both good and bad in the world...

For on that day that my wife had come home crying she needed to stop for gas simply because she didn't want to run out. Stopping at one of the few service stations in Milford she stopped into our local Shell station where a young woman was outside smoking. As my wife pulled in and exited the car the young woman went inside as my wife followed.

My wife kindly asked if the attendant could help her take off her gas cap to her vehicle because she is unable to grip objects with any force and the gas cap was unable to be twisted off.

A resounding "No" was stated to my wife in which time she said "But I need fuel and could use the help". Once again followed by a "No" And "we aren't allowed to leave the station." Now if you know this station well you realize that once a car is pulled in for fuel that it is less than 3-10 feet from that door. This didn't matter. For the attendant then stated "If you need fuel that bad you can go to Jersey across the bridge and get it pumped for you". Shocked and saddened my wife left the Shell and proceeded into town then stopping off at the Turkey Hill in the town of Milford.

Upset and shaken she kindly explained the situation to a cashier/attendant at Turkey Hill who kindly walked outside, unscrewed her gas cap and pumped my wife's fuel. Followed by 2 patrons who heard my wife's problem and also offered to help.

Upon driving away my wife explained to me that she felt so humiliated at that Shell station but yet relieved at the kindness at the Turkey hill that she was overcome by emotions she hasn't felt since her diagnosis a year earlier.

Are we that callus in our country that we treat people like garbage? Are we that shallow that we feel its necessary to not help a person in need or stress? We really need to take a big look at ourselves in the mirror and try to redirect out moral compos in America.

To the staff at Turkey Hill I cant say enough about how good you made my wife and myself feel for what you did for her. Your actions that day were honest and sincere and I thank you for them.

To the young lady operating the Shell that day I would advise you to take a course on compassion for people and would also advise the owner and manager of that station to read up on civil rights violations against the disabled.

Howard Dietz

Milford


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