Today has been a particularly tough day. I was running late for work, the traffic was horrible, weather was gloomy and when I was about to get to my job, the bridge opened and the last vestiges of arriving at a close to decent time vanished. Two hours later, I got a call from my son to let me know that he had been assaulted, had a broken lip requiring stitching and his back was aching; a tough day indeed.
Later in the day, I heard that Donna Summer died. I couldn’t help but feeling that another icon from a wonderful musical era had left us way too soon and needless to say the news didn’t brighten my day one bit, rather it made it worse if that was even possible. Truth be told, I felt miserable as the day went by and I kept feeling as if no one could have a worse day than mine. We can be so self-centered and so selfish at times!
I left the office later than usual to compensate for the time lost in the morning. On my way home still feeling like my day had been the most miserable of days, I passed by what it seemed to be a very young man sitting on the grass by the sidewalk. I passed him immersed in my thoughts until I reached the stop sign, somehow at that moment the picture of the man on the grass did not seem right, I couldn’t continue on my way so I backed up to make sure. I saw a frail young man, head down as if defeated. With a assuring voice I asked him if he needed help and he lifted his head, tears still falling down his cheeks but with a beautiful smile on his face he said a warm and resounding “Yes!” I pulled my car in a driveway, got off my car and asked him how could I help him. I noticed the seat of the electric wheelchair was occupied with two bags leaving no room for him, so the first thing I did was to take the largest bag that had a strap and secured it to the back of the chair. Next I went to help him get on it and he gently thanked me and said that he could do it by himself. I saw a young woman, in her early twenties come out of the house where I had parked, phone on her ear and I could tell she was talking to the police. Why would she do that? She looked at me, asked me if I knew what was wrong with him to which I replied: he fell off his chair. She simply turned around and walked back to the house. Not once did she looked at him or offered any help. I was surprised!
Cars kept passing by through, it had to be evident that I was trying to help a man on the floor. A person that it was obviously paraplegic – his legs looked like rags – but not one car stopped, asked or at minimum even looked. We were invisible for the passers by and to that young woman that had closed the door behind her without even glancing at this young man or me.
After maneuvering his useless legs to position them in such a way that they would somehow hold his weight while lifting himself up to the chair he finally made it. I was happy for him and he looked radiant. He didn’t have money for the bus and was going a long way. I am in the process of moving, the back of my car is full of boxes and I couldn’t take him to where he needed to go, but the bus stop was very close so I gave him the last dollars I had with me and, feeling that he was safe I was ready to leave. He thanked me profusely, and… the chair wouldn’t move! Apparently, in the fall some cables had come lose and the chair wouldn’t move!
He asked me if I could stay a little longer and threw himself back to the floor. He looked around what I think it had to be the wheelchair’s motor and triumphantly said he had found the loose wire and all I had to do was to lift the top part of the chair. I couldn’t do that, I have a bad back and I told him so… he began to weep again and I felt terrible, useless. He reassured me that God would help, to try… I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t believe in God, God is the only thing that keeps this man strong and I wasn’t going to destroy that, so I said yes, God will provide… maybe a car will stop by. He laughed, and said no, those people don’t care or haven’t you noticed? They are demons! All of the sudden, a young muscular woman that was jogging passed him by and apparently knew him and recognized him, she approached him, kissed him and she told me that I could leave that she was going to take over from there.
I was relieved that now someone could help him where I couldn’t. He extended his arms from the floor as if asking me for a hug; I gave him a hug and a kiss. He said I was an angel and I smiled… I couldn’t tell him what I thought of angels. If good angels do exist, he certainly was one of them, because he did more good to me than I did to him. If he with so little and such adversity in his life was smiling and was so thankful and grateful… How could I be so selfish as to think that my problems are so big? Sometimes we need a reality check, I met mine today.