Wednesday, August 26, 2009

absoluely unworthy

It all started when I decided to go ahead and go to the girls' night out with several friends celebrating those who had August birthdays. I left the house at the time we were supposed to meet at the restaurant.
Passing by a neighborhood on the way, I noticed that there was a man on the sidewalk who had fallen out of his electric wheelchair and his daughters (?) about ages 9 and 12 were standing there watching traffic drive by.

I drove by too.

"I wouldn't be of much help."
guilt pang
"Someone will stop."
guilt pang
"I'm sort of late already."
guilt pang
"Surely someone else will stop."
guilt pang

I looked in rear view mirror, all the cars which were behind me before we all saw the man were still behind me. None of them stopped.

I turned the car around.
As I got out of my car ONE other driver (ps- high traffic volume) had stopped.

This man is paralyzed from the waist down, the wheel of his chair had gone off the the sidewalk and overturned the wheelchair. Seemingly embarrassed and not accustomed to asking strangers for help, he is struggling with his upper body to get into his wheelchair. The other driver who stopped doesn't know what to do but is trying to help him up.

Another car stops. A black woman gets out and walks up and calmly but with confidence in her voice tells the paralyzed man to "stop and sit back down on the sidewalk."
"You are going to tire yourself." she adds.
"Are you a nurse?" the daughters ask.
"Yes." she says plainly and calmly.
"Thank you, Jesus." they pray.

"Listen carefully, this man and I are going to lift you by your arms and the back of your belt. You remain still. We will get you back in the chair." Then she quickly and succinctly tells the other driver exactly how to lift. I "steadied the chair" and was going through a mental asskickin' for not stopping right away.

Wham! Bam! And the paralyzed man is back in his wheelchair. The nurse helps him scoot back, asks if he is ok, and starts heading back to her car.

"Oh, thank you, thank you," the girls gushed to the three of us.

I felt unworthy of their thanks and said, "I did nothing."

"Yes, but you stopped," the older of the two said.

guilt pang

1 comment:

Soutenus said...

Wow -- you brought tears to my eyes and a powerful self assessmant. THANK YOU for sharing this!