Driving Towards Faith In Humanity

, , , , , , , | | Hopeless | July 26, 2019

My mother-in-law is an amazing, sweet, kind, and generous woman, who I am lucky to call family. 

Yesterday, I was being released from hospital following major abdominal surgery. My husband was due to collect me after visiting his mum in a hospital local to our home. She had been in intensive care for the past three weeks with sepsis that wasn’t responding well to treatment. As he was about to leave his hospital, the doctor told him that his mum was not going to last much longer and he needed to stay with his dad and his sister for the end. He phoned me and told me the news and we agreed I would have to get a cab home despite the cost. 

I made the arrangements via the hospital’s concierge and sat to wait near another lady in the lobby. We sort of smiled at each other, and then she gestured to a bag the other side of her and asked if it was mine. I said no and pointed to my suitcase next to me and said that was all I had. 

We then struck up a short conversation about our reasons for being there. She asked what was wrong and said I seemed upset. I explained that my husband couldn’t collect me as his mum was dying and not expected to last long and that I was waiting for a cab. She instantly waved her hand and said her driver would take me home. I protested, as I already had the cab booked and it would be too far as I live the other side of the river, but she insisted and told the concierge to cancel my cab. Then, she told a gentleman outside the entrance to take my address and ensure her driver took me home as soon as possible. 

I was definitely overwhelmed by this point and forgot to ask for her name, but I did give her a hug and thank her for making my day so much easier. She then left with her assistant. When her car arrived, I got in with my suitcase, and then my husband called to tell me his mum had gone. Thanks to that incredibly generous stranger, I was able to be with him and the rest of our family when it really mattered and, yes, faith in humanity restored.

The Ticket To A Fun Afternoon

, , , , , | | Hopeless | July 22, 2019

(My husband and I are visiting America for the first time and are in Saint Louis. While at the top of the Gateway Arch, we see that a baseball game is starting in the nearby Busch Stadium so we make an impromptu decision to go to the game. Just as we approach the ticket desk, a couple intercepts us.)

Couple: “Are you going to buy tickets for the game?”

Me: “Uh, yeah.”

Couple: “We’re season ticket holders and we upgraded our tickets for tonight’s game. They let us keep our old tickets, so you can have ours for free.”

Me: *trying to decide how this scam works* “Oh, I dunno.”

Couple: “We’ll be honest with you; they’re not great seats, but it saves you buying tickets.”

Me: *still unsure and wishing I was psychic so I could read my husband’s mind*

Couple: *laughs* “I know you probably think we’re scamming you. Put it this way: if the tickets are valid, you can watch the game and hopefully have a good time. If the tickets are fake, they just won’t let you in but you haven’t spent any money so no loss. We just heard your accent and wanted to do something nice while you’re visiting us.”

Me: “Okay, let’s give it a shot. Are you sure you don’t want anything for the tickets?”

Couple: “Absolutely not. Enjoy!”

(With that, the couple gave us the tickets and disappeared before we could get their details. The tickets were valid and, to us, the seats were fantastic. We had a great view of all the action and really enjoyed the game. It’s one of my favourite stories to tell from our trip and it really made our day.)

90% Off With 100% Love

, , , | | Hopeless | July 20, 2019

(My family moves from Florida to Tennessee when I am three or four years old. We don’t have much furniture, and we stop by a furniture store in DC on our way from visiting friends to get some. We have a budget of $500 and aren’t planning on getting much. We see a sale room with furniture that is all on sale, with a lot off. There is a man with one of those wheels that you spin to get a percentage off. My mom spins.) 

Man: “10%? Hmm… That’s not a lot…” *points to me* “She’s so cute! Let her spin.”

(I spin, and the wheel is about to land on 10% again, and this man makes the wheel spin a bit longer.)

Man: “90%! Congratulations!”

(We were able to get just about all of our furniture for $500, and it was a blessing that my family really needed in that rough spot.)

Tubes Of Kindness

, , , , , | | Hopeless | July 19, 2019

I was recently injured while travelling, but my stubborn self just kept on going as normal. My legs were bruised, I had scrapes and scratches, my knee was wrapped, and I had only just stopped bleeding the day before travelling into London with a large suitcase and backpack. Travel was slow and painful, but I still kept going. I had things to do, places to go, people to see, etc.

On six separate occasions, I needed to go up or down stairs with no escalator or lift nearby. Being my first time in England, I certainly looked lost, as well, I’m sure. Each time, someone came over and offered to help carry my luggage, walking up the stairs with me to make sure I didn’t fall and injure myself further. They didn’t accept anything and ran off in the opposite direction as soon as I had thanked them. 

But to those of you who helped me climbing stairs slowly with a suitcase half your size, thank you. I made it safely and without further injury thanks to each one of you.

The Greatest Anthem Is The One Sung Together

, , , , | | Hopeless | July 18, 2019

For the past ten months, I have participated in a volunteer program at an educational non-profit. At the end of our term of service, we have a graduation ceremony with our families, alumni, sponsors, and several high-profile government figures including the mayor and a senator. Two of our members are going to sing the national anthem before the ceremony begins. They sound amazing during rehearsal, but of course, that changes when the theater is full of people.

They start out really strong, but about halfway through, one of the members loses her pitch. The other keeps going and she tries to regain her footing, but it’s obvious that she’s getting flustered.

A few people let out supportive cheers. Then suddenly, someone in the audience begins to sing along. Soon, everyone else in the theater joins in singing the national anthem, and the member finishes the song on a perfect note.

Everyone in the room bursts into applause. Many of my fellow members are crying or holding back tears because we are so moved. 

It had been a lengthy and difficult year of service which tested many of us in ways we’d never imagined, and it can feel incredibly draining to work so hard for the betterment of your community when you can’t necessarily see the results of all your work. But seeing how all these strangers came together to lift up one of our volunteers, even in a small way, reminded us of what an amazing community we belong to.