I saw one of those random acts of kindness last week and it took my breath away. I’m still thinking about it.
It’s summertime (not technically though it feels like it) so road construction is in full-force. I like the main town, its vibe, the scenery, so in theory I don’t mind the delay(s); when I have to pick children up on time and get to the Little Angel’s therapies on time, then I do mind. Rationally I know traffic is beyond my control so I try to give it up, to call where we’re supposed to be to let them know and then just be in the moment, enjoying the sun, my children’s company, the sounds around us, etc. This is an active practice, and hopefully the more I do it the more natural it will become to me …. I’ll let you know.
After having dropped the Big Angel off at cryptozoology camp I was driving down one of the main streets which for whatever reason is not having any construction work; I was simply stopped at a red light. The street intersecting this main street is undergoing construction. An elderly woman with a seriously impeded gait was slowly crossing my street with great effort even with her two canes. She wasn’t going to make it before the light turned against her. A construction worker saw her and ran into the crosswalk with his stop sign and held it up against our green light so this woman could safely meet her destination.
This man wasn’t hired to help pedestrians, wasn’t supposed to be working on the main street. But he saw this lady who needed help and without hesitation he helped her.
I saw this and it gave me hope. It most selfishly gives me hope that a kind stranger will see my Little Angel and rescue him. Someone will hug him, will hold his hand. Someone will prevent him from being run over. Someone will shake the sand and pebbles out of his shoe for him. That someone will be kind to him who isn’t his mother.
One Friday during the school year the Little Angel came home from school, unable to walk. His wonderful bus driver, a little bit gruff but a whole lot in love with the two Special boys on his bus (mine being one of them), told me “Yeah, they had to carry him out to the bus. Evidently he wasn’t able to walk the whole day.”
Of course I panicked, picking him up and running inside. His spirit was a bit listless as well; I laid him on the sofa and immediately called his neurological triage nurse. As I waited to be connected to her I undressed him, hoping to find a likely culprit. I was nonplussed: this child is in a diaper, so the SpEd (Special Education) team, most notably his one-on-one para, undress him at least every two hours throughout the day – surely they’d have seen something. ??? And why hadn’t they called me? Why was it 3:45 on a Friday afternoon when I was hearing about this from his bus driver?
Because the Little Angel has absolute global aphasia he is unable to tell / sign what is going on, even if his brain could process it (and we have aucune idée how his brain processes information, like pain). The nurse was concerned he’d had a stroke and as she said this I removed his socks. Eureka! An errant thread had wrapped around his big toe, acting as a tourniquet. The toe was blue and later that afternoon I had it checked out – nerve damage but it’s luckily turned out to be not permanent. His toe had been strangled since 7:45 that morning and he couldn’t tell anyone what was happening — his body stopped working for him. But he is so resilient that his toe is fine. He is amazing.
I told this story to Amy, the woman who along with her husband we’ve asked to be our children’s guardians (and the Little Angel’s guardian until his death), crying and begging her to “promise me you’ll love him enough to take off his socks!” Amy was crying too, and she told me “I already do.” I believe her.
The man holding the stop sign was, in my mind, doing the equivalent of checking this woman’s socks. Thank you.