I've offered many less than rave reviews on this giant of all stuff marts. And yes, I typically avoid the chaos within its walls at all costs. But for today I am singing a different tune. Here's why.
Mamoune and I set out this afternoon to run a few errands. Bank -check. Pick up M's new glasses -check. Walmart -and that's where it all went south. To say that Mamoune has vision issues is an understatement. She has a seriously strong prescription and having been without glasses for an absurd amount of time ('nother story, 'nother time) we were warned that she may feel a little woozy for a day or two while her eyes adjusted.
After a few minutes of shopping, she mentioned that she felt a little dizzy. Not a plea for help. Not really even a complaint. Just a mention. No biggie. Another ten minutes in and she stops and drops her head with her hands resting on her knees. "I don't feel so good." she says. I go through the range of possibilities...are you still dizzy, do you need to throw up, need to poop, etc. We decide to head to check-out and to get her positioned on a nice bench near the ladies room.
I point her toward the desired location and she immediately takes two steps the wrong direction. I pulled her back and getting a good look at her face, I knew this wasn't going to end well. She was weaving side to side and not really locking eyes with me so I pulled her closer.
Now, as I confessed in a previous L150 post, I haven't been great at recognizing God in the moment but there was no missing Him this time. As I struggled to balance Mamoune in her stupor, one of the WalMart managers (I presume based on her gear) happened to be standing right beside us. She asked if I needed help or if I thought we should call 911. I was waffling and trying to process the situation when I felt Mamoune's legs give way. She was out like a light. At that very moment, I heard a familiar voice say "Everything okay?" There stood Alphonso James. One very large, very strong, WalMart employee Alphonso James. "She's passed out Dwight (his nickname) I can't hold her."
He scooped her up and at that moment I realized how precious it is to have someone who knows your child by name coming to your rescue. We made our way toward a seating area and he was talking to her all the way. "Mamoune, you with me? Wake up, girl." We got her to a chair and soon got her back into the land of the conscious. The manager had already called for EMS and they arrived shortly thereafter. A little bit of time, a finger prick to check blood sugar, and several vitals checks later and we determined that a light lunch, dizzy glasses, and some possible anemia had created the perfect storm. Once we knew there would be no need for an ambulance ride to the ER --the paramedics stood watch while the managers opened a register for me and checked me out in no time flat. This is also when I realized that a good friend we hadn't seen in a while was standing nearby and had been praying for us while waiting for a chance to check on us verbally. Meanwhile, Alphonso retrieved our van from the parking lot and drove it to the front door.
And so, laying price wars, consumerism, and the annoyance of big box warehouse marts aside; when it counted the most the Walmart crew was on their toes. Maybe it was emergency training and protocol or maybe it was just good ol' fashioned customer service. Either way
-- THANK YOU WAKE FOREST WALMART--
and paramedics and firefighters and everyone who made haste and cleared the path for one frantic mama! And thank you God for putting friends (old and new) right where we needed them to be.
btw, Mamoune is feeling much better after a snack and some rest. She was pretty shaken up but I'm thinking the 11 year old embarrassment factor will be the longest part of her recovery. =)