27 November 2018

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You

I keep reliving this event over and over in my head, and not necessarily for the reasons you might assume.

The day I broke my wrist, Hamlet and I were out for a walk.  I stopped paying attention to where I was walking, and realized I was falling.  I put out my hands to break my fall, and as a result, knocked out some front teeth (that went through my upper lip to the outside, yikes!), and of course, badly broke my right wrist.  As well as some cuts and bruises, as one would expect.

I remember sitting up after I fell, and being in a bit of shock, a lot of pain, and very dismayed that something like this had happened.  Again.  I didn't see any other people around at first, and was wondering how long I would need to sit there on the sidewalk before I could manage to get up and head home (I was about 2 blocks from our house).

I heard a car door close, and someone said, "Are you hurt?"  I looked up, and a man who appeared to be in his late 30s-early 40s was standing there.  He was dressed in clothing that indicated he worked in construction or some related thing.  I told him that I was pretty sure I broke my wrist, and he offered to take me to the emergency room.  I asked if he could take me home, so I could put Hamlet in the house, and then my husband would take me to the hospital.  So he helped me get up, and helped me into his truck, and also put Hamlet in the back seat.  I gave him directions to get to our house, and he helped me out of the truck to the front door.

At this point, besides thanking him for approximately the 400th time, I asked him for his name, and/or address/e-mail so I could properly let him know how much I appreciated his help.  To which he replied, "Oh no, ma'am, I was glad to help.  And I don't want to be reported to ICE."

I can remember thinking, would someone actually DO that to someone who had helped them?  And then I realized that, yes, there are people who would do that at the first opportunity.  And I was truly saddened and ashamed to make that realization.

We tell ourselves, others, and our children that helping others is so important, and that kindness, empathy, and compassion should always inform the way we go about in the world.  Talking heads on our TVs tell us that America has become a divided nation, and children are separated from their parents indefinitely at our border.  Border agents tear gas migrants fleeing poverty and oppression, and our "leaders" say it's necessary and not that bad.

The holidays are here.  We just had Thanksgiving, where we celebrated abundance and brotherhood and were reminded to be thankful.  The season reminds us - regardless of religious beliefs or none - to remember those who are not as fortunate, and to help them if we can.  We draw closer to loved ones, realizing how lucky we are, regardless of what we complain about all of the time.

And here I am, not just thankful for the man who helped me, but frustrated that I was not able to let him know in a more coherent way how grateful I was for his help, because of a truly terrible person in charge, and his terrible, spineless allies who instead want me to turn him in because he is not here legally.

That's the end of the story, as far as my direct interaction with my helper.  But it has made me more committed than ever to do everything in my power to be like him - helping someone who needs it, even if the worst case scenario could come into play.

Say "thank you" to someone today.  Help someone if you can, no matter how big or small that help may be.  Do it because of him, and to help me pay his kindness forward.

And, lest I not take my own advice - thank you for reading and for your continued friendship and encouragement during my recovery.   You are all what the world is truly made of and what will prevail if we can just stay on track.

18 comments:

Karen51 said...

Thank you for such a well written and meaningful message. It was a great start to my day and so incredibly correct. Hope your recovery continues to improve every day.

AsKatKnits said...

Oh, Bridget. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. How lovely of this person to help someone despite their fears.

I purposely left my "Love Trumps Hate" sign up in our window post-election - it is easily visible from the street and I wanted to make a statement to all. No matter your political leaning - the love and care of our brother is what will win in the end... not fear and hatred.

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Karen51 said...

Thank you for your thoughtful message this morning. A great lesson for all of us. I wish our current administration held the same sentiments. I hope your healing process continues every day.

Kim in Oregon said...

I will remember this whenever I am bemoaning my white privilege (sp?). Thank you.

Vera said...

So very well said Bridget!

sprite said...

Thank you for sharing this story, Bridget, about someone being brave and kind even when the cost could have been so great.

Tired Teacher said...

God Bless the gentleman who helped you, and may his family be blessed, too.

KSD said...

Wordless. What a gift.

Kym said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Bridget. My heart just breaks. XO

Araignee said...

What a story! I am surprised he would admit that to you not knowing if you might be one of those who would turn him in. When I see all those folks at the border clamoring to get in, I think of the people who worked tirelessly in the nursing home for low pay taking care of Daddio. I think of the men from Mexico who were brave enough to scale my giant trees risking life and limb. These are not the jobs we raise our kids to do anymore but they need to be done. We need to give these folks a chance. We need them.

Dee Kissinger said...

I'm so thankful he was there for you. I can't imagine how it is for him to live always having to look over his shoulder.

While I am VERY thankful I was born in the U.S., I am so very saddened at what our current leaders have done.

Hope you are continuing to heal well.

Bonny said...

May your helper be blessed and stay far away from ICE. Your story will stay with me for a long, long time.

kathy b said...

Oh that is a wonderful story but the ICE part is so sad. I hope he is blessed over and over again.
Im so sorry you had this accident, but this angel of a man helped you!!!
I love to hear about others helping one another. IT is why we are here. NO matter how small the effort, the recipient feels, as you do, amazed and grateful. THanks for a great post

Nance said...

Your kind helper took a very big risk, especially, as you noted, in these sad times. It underscores the importance of being kind to each other, even as the national ethos seems to say differently. I hope very much that you continue to recover quickly and well.

elns said...

Such a great post, Bridget -- even if you made me well up a bit at work. Sigh. I am grateful for a lot and thankful for a lot but I'm really sick of the world that keeps self sabotaging itself for the good things it's capable of being.

Helen Mathey-Horn said...

First, sorry you fell and glad you are healing.
Second OMG That such a "Bad Hombre" would help you and we as a nation cannot recognize others when they act more human than ourselves.
What goes a round comes around if Karma works and he deserves a gold crown and what do we as a nation deserve? You've made me cry.

Anonymous said...

God bless that young man and the many like him who have come to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. God bless you for telling us the story.

karen said...

what a blessing to have that man help and yes, we need to say thank you!