Something just happened. Something that’s never happened to me before and may have just changed my life, at a time that could not have been more perfect. This blog post is an attempt to not forget it.
It, along with other things that have happened in my life recently, has deepened my understanding that the universe is working very closely with us. The Universe/God/Source Energy/whatever-whomever-you-want-to-call-it is rooting for us, putting things in place, moving things around, making sure it all comes together alright in the end and we learn the right lessons. Everything happens for a reason and there is no such thing as coincidence!
When it comes right down to it, humans are so good. I will not let this idea go. I refuse to give into the idea that humans are inherently bad or wicked or dangerous. What happened tonight could not have happened if that were the case. We are all a mixture of good and bad. Life isn’t pretty all the time; it isn’t ugly all the time. We are just tiny imperfect human beings bumbling along the best we know how, making choices and decisions when all the information hasn’t been presented to us.
So, the story of today:
It had been a rough day. Around 10AM I’m sitting at my desk wondering if I’m going to be sick and if I need to go home. I feel as though I’m in a constant panic attack. I sit at lunch and can barely eat my food, but start to feel better after I do. I go to a meeting and listen to one of our ambassadors tell her story – she is amazing – so many words of wisdom that correlate so well with what my coworker and I have been discussing. I get home from work, I’m tired like I am every day when I get home from work. I decide to forego dinner and take a walk. It’s dark; I like walking when it’s dark; it makes me feel alone; I like feeling alone; I’m a miserable human being; look at me go, so utterly singular in my loneliness. What else makes me special?
I keep walking, I get into my music, I’m feeling okay. I see an old lady on the ground in front of her door, behind her wheelchair. What is she doing… I almost don’t stop I’m so focused on what I’m doing… “Do you need help?… Did you fall? What can I do? Can I call someone? What do I do? You’re welcome, it’s okay. I can’t lift you. Should I get a neighbor? Is there a neighbor who can help?” – all words coming out of my mouth as I’m trying to help this poor lady back into her chair, which weighs about 100 pounds and which I’ve finagled in front of her. She is incessantly apologizing and thanking me, but I just feel helpless, and a little impatient too. I can’t lift this old lady. She can’t lift herself. She keeps falling. She’s not making any sense. There’s no one around – it’s dark and it’s deserted. I don’t want to call 911. I ring the neighbor’s door bell, no answer. I ring another. While I’m waiting the old lady tries to get in her chair and falls again; I tell her to just stay there; I’m panicking; I hear noise from inside the apartment I rang at; a woman calls out “who is it?” and I say, “your neighbor fell, we need help.” She says hang on a second, she has to get some clothes on, she’s in her pajamas. I tell the old lady, “she’s coming, hang on, she has to put some clothes on.” The lady comes out a few seconds later, still in her pajamas. She’s old. The first thought in my head is, “oh great, she’s old too; we’re going to have to get more help; I’m never going to get home.”
Humans aren’t always pretty, remember.
But then the woman (her name is Isabel) rushes right over to the old lady, hugs her, holds her head in her hands, asks if she’s okay, asks what she can do, asks what happened. She asks if I’ll help her, I nod. Together we lift the old lady into her chair and get her into her apartment.
We can’t leave her alone, not yet. Isabel is so good with her, asking all these questions to try to get something coherent out of her. Meanwhile I’m just standing there like a deer in the headlights, wanting to help, but not knowing how. Isabel is trying to get her to call someone. She can’t remember the number. The phone rings; it’s her boyfriend; thank god. Her boyfriend calls her daughter; her daughter calls; her daughter is in the middle of cooking and won’t come.
Her daughter is in the middle of cooking and won’t come.
We go to leave, Isabel sees something on the floor that ends of being dog shit. She cleans it up, assuring the old lady that it’s just poo-poo and it’s totally fine; she cleans her grandbaby’s poo-poo all the time. We close and lock the doors and leave; the door opens again, she calls us back; we go back in; she wants my number; Isabel finds a pen, I write it down. She keeps saying water, water, water, so we get her some water. Someone’s at the back door, but it’s just the dog. Isabel lets the dog in; the dog is running and jumping all over the place. We get the lady situated in front of the TV. We leave again. She opens the door. We go back in. She asks for my number again. She has Isabel write her number down too even though she has it already. The dog gets out. Shit! Isabel gets some meat; she’s walking everywhere, trying to find this dog. The dog is lost. I stay with the old lady. I see the dog running back, I yell at it, “Get back in here!” It bolts into the apartment. I close the door and try to find Isabel. She’s out looking for the dog. Oh great. I can’t leave the old lady, but I can’t leave Isabel out searching for this dog who knows where. Then I hear her, thank god, and yell out that we found it, it’s back. We leave after that and the door stays closed.
Isabel and I are just exhausted, hugging each other, flabbergasted. She asks if I want to come in, I say sure. Her house is impossibly perfect. We wash our hands then sit down and talk.
That talk is one of the best ones I have ever had. There is no way for me to express to you how I felt, but it was just what I needed. She showed me a picture of her great-grandbaby that she watches every day; I showed her pictures of my nieces and nephews. I told her about Daniel. She told me about her children who have passed away. She told me to tell my sister that she’ll be okay,”you push through it; you stay strong; it’s life.” I was looking at a picture of my sister’s family, telling her how my sister is pulling through, doing so good for her kids. She has to be okay for her kids. I never cry. If you know me you know I never cry. But I cried then, looking at that picture. Madie and Jonah are so beautiful and perfect.
Everything happens for a reason.
That week Daniel had with Jonah happened for a reason.
Life is no mistake.
Isabel told me something and she told me to listen to her. She told me that life is full of choices and the consequences of those choices. She said,”you could have seen her and just kept going. You didn’t have to stop. But you did, and you went and knocked on my door.” She said these kind acts are the reason we are here. She said I’ll go to bed tonight feeling at peace. She said I’m on the right path, like she knew me and what I was going through. How did she know I’ve been told I’m on the wrong path?
I always want to choose to be kind, to learn, to keep an open mind and listen with a ready ear.
Now, I did something almost any other human would do, and didn’t do it super well at that. This whole experience has been so humbling. But I do have to wonder what would have happened if I wasn’t there. Isabel said she would have just stayed there because all the neighbors are old, no one is outside at that time of night. She may be right. If the universe hadn’t brought me out walking tonight, past that lady’s door, she very well could have stayed there all night in the cold. And what would have happened if Isabel hadn’t opened the door? I couldn’t lift the old lady without her and she handled the situation so much better than I ever could. So who knows what could have happened? I don’t. The Universe, God, whatever-whomever-you-call-it, does. It put me in a position to find the old lady and then it gave us someone who could really help, a complete stranger who I formed a deep connection with.
Life is made up of these connections; I am so grateful to be making them every now and then.
More than one person has been helped tonight, and I would call that quite a successful day!