At the back of my mind

A couple of days ago I drove my mom around on a bunch of errands.  When we were halfway through, she asked if I would take her to the pharmacy to get her meds.  But I forgot.  I didn’t remember until I was ready to leave her house so I suggested we go before I went home.  She said never mind, she’d just walk down the next day.  I offered several times more, but she kept insisting she would walk so I drove off.

My drive home takes me right past the pharmacy so I decided to stop and pick up her prescription.  As I was parking the car, I remembered that my mom had said the pharmacist had given her a hard time about not having identification.  He won’t let her have her prescription without it.  On several occasions she has had to walk home and then return. She doesn’t carry a purse any more; once a thief broke her finger to steal it.

So when I went into the store I felt a little bit of dread.  I was already thinking about what I was going to say. 

But when I walked up to the counter, I saw a young Asian man was working there.  Suddenly I felt enormous relief and all my apprehension vanished.  I told him I was picking up my mom’s prescription, he got it for me, I paid and left.  It was that simple.  He didn’t ask any questions or even seem to hesitate.

So I was thinking about picking up my own prescriptions, and I don’t think I’ve ever been required to show identification.  I’ve picked up other people’s medications several times.  I’ve even picked up heavy-duty narcotics and never been questioned.

I have no idea why one pharmacist requires my mother’s identification.  He is aware that she walks a little more than a mile to get there.  He also recognizes my mother since she has been going there for some time.

However, my relief at seeing the Asian pharmacist tells me that I do know.  Because it’s always at the back of my mind.


5 thoughts on “At the back of my mind

  1. :However, my relief at seeing the Asian pharmacist tells me that I do know. Because it’s always at the back of my mind.:
    Resistance, you do know, and I love you for holding on to that truth, it’s all there is, sometimes. Thank you for sharing a painful yet inspiring post.

  2. “… it’s always in the back of my mind”
    made me teary. It’s hard being Asian Australian.

  3. Wow, great finish. I swear, this applies to every non-white out there (sometimes, if you are lucky it can apply to two non-whites of different origin too). I can relate, all the way from Norway. Hang in there!

  4. thanks for this. your experience hurts my heart. i have elderly asian parents who i think about all the time; they take public transport to get around. i drive them on errands when i go visit, but i wish i could shield them from racism all the time. it makes me sad that my parents may not recognize certain forms of “hostility” when they frequent establishments that sure as hell do not deserve their business.

    i, too, feel the same flood of relief when i walk into certain businesses that have POC as employees because, well, that’s how it is.

  5. I try to keep it at the back of my mind, but whenever I go out in public, people drag it to the front again.

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