It's Tuesday, and Tuesdays are for slicing. Anyone is welcome to join us through Two Writing Teachers, slicing, sharing, and commenting on other slices!
Monday, May 23, 2022
Slice of Life: I have SO much gratitude for strangers!
In many ways, this slice is gong to read as a affirmation in the goodness of people in the world. I know there are lots of stories that would contradict this, but my daughter Clare has had back to back weekends of testing the goodness of humanity and coming out way in the green.
Last weekend, she went hiking in northern Maine with her sister and friends. Because everyone except Clare was headed back to Boston and Clare had to get to Manhattan, I offered to subsidize a one-way plane ticket from Portland to LaGuardia. What a great idea it seemed like until the fog rolled in an hour before take off time. Clare settled into the Celtics game at the airport bar, making friends with other people who were watching their flights get delayed and then canceled, and we went through a variety of options to get her back to Hell's Kitchen. Each option fell apart for various reasons. In the end, Chris and Mary, her new friends with a daughter in college in Maine, rented a car. Since they were headed for Tribeca, they dropped Clare off at her apartment after a 5 1/2 hour ride together. I loved that Chris had Clare send me a picture of his driver's license. Is this in case you disappear? I texted. Precisely, Clare responded. Clare now has two more members of her fan club who live across town from her, and they have a card of gratitude and a gift on the way to them.
This past weekend, Clare tapped into the kindness of strangers once again. In the excitement of going out with her friends, she left her phone on the NYC train. The phone with her license, credit cards, and debit card all in it. She called me in a panic, apologetic and teary. Don't cry for something that can't cry for you, my husband and I repeated to her, working hard to calm her down and convince her that even if she didn't get the phone back, it was all replaceable. We put a stop on all the cards and plotted how we'd get her a new license. We figured that the Apple or AT and T stores in the city would be happy to cash in on a kid who needed a new phone the next morning, and we'd see how much it would cost.
(Have you noticed that no one thought to call the phone????)
In the morning, my friend suggested looking at Find My iPhone. Duh. Of course, we should do that! The phone was in Long Island and seemed to be staying in one place. I put it in lost mode, and was prompted to enter a phone number to call if found. Guess what? My phone rang within a couple of minutes. Hello?!?! said a man's voice. He told about finding the phone and waiting for someone to call it. He was so happy to finally know he'd get it to the owner. One of Clare's friends lives not far from where Otto was working and she picked up the phone, sent it to the city with her roommate, and Clare's phone and credit cards were back in her hands in time to get dinner.
I'd like Clare to take a weekend or two off of counting on strangers for rides and returns, but her experiences have restored any lagging faith in humanity. How incredibly grateful I am to a few people I will probably never meet. Maybe this post will inspire anyone who reads it to keep the kindness chain going, as it really saved a girl I love!