Today held something that goes further than feeling “thankful.” It was a moment in a day that felt destined, created only by One, completely intentional and beyond the construction of Man. The event took only a few texts to plan, lasted for approximately an hour; yet, the story began over a year ago.
You see, it was over a year ago that I met someone special, someone who was my angel for a day and my friend for a lifetime. It was on that day when my life was forever changed. Tragedy struck and I found myself hours away from home, laying on the side of the road, bleeding and barely able to move. Within what felt like seconds, a man appeared through the rain to my left side, holding an umbrella over my body and telling me that everything was going to be okay. He held my hand and offered reassuring words to comfort me as he updated me on the situation that was taking place around us. Eventually, first responders arrived and this stranger grabbed my purse and entered the ambulance with me. He never questioned what he would do, he never asked my opinion, he simply reacted. I laid there singing Amazing Grace, and he provided updates while checking in with the first responders. Upon arriving to the hospital, he followed my stretcher and answered the numerous texts and calls that were flooding my cellphone. This young man then waited in the hallway while the doctors completed procedures. Hours passed and this man whom I had never met, and could barely say his name, stayed in that hospital as if I were a member of his family. My situation completely altered his plans for the day as he personally decided that my well-being had become his new plan. He never left my side until after he was sure I was going to be okay and my brother-in-law had arrived. We exchanged phone numbers and I vowed to myself that I would forever remember this man. Five months later, I gave birth to my amazing son. My stranger was just a text away, awaiting photos and sending praises for the healthy delivery. And this is a pattern than never changed throughout the weeks, months and now over a year. Then today happened.
For the first time since that horrific day, we were able to see each other once again. I met him in New York City where he gave me a warm embrace and then held my child as if he had spent the past year physically in his presence. There were pictures snapped and
smiles beaming. He requested to buy a gift for my child, and he took him throughout the store and listened to each giggle and squeal to determine which gift Little One would most desire. As the minutes dwindled, we were forced to head to the train station. Since my son had skipped his nap today, he was a little on the fussy side; however, that did not hinder the love of our friend. He picked him up and flew him through the waiting area as Little One laughed in a contagious manner, bringing smiles to the faces of those around us. Then as they called for the boarding of our train, we sadly said our farewells. The raw emotions of joy, happiness and now sadness were apparent. As we hugged one last time and walked away, Little One repeatedly reached out for our favorite stranger. He waved and waved, never taking his eyes off of him until we descended down the escalator. Then we boarded the train, Little One holding Woody and I holding Little One; both knowing that this would not be the last time we saw our stranger because he will forever be a piece of our story and a part of our lives. This wonderful man had transformed from a stranger, to an angel, to a friend, all because he followed his heart and stood by a young woman, whom he had never met, during her time of need. A debt that could never be repaid.
Ahmeli… that we follow our hearts and reach out to a stranger in need because you never know how far your reaction can carry them through an unbearable time.
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