It had been a dark and stormy December night, and fallen branches were strewn hither and yon. Some were between my car and the early morning meeting I was to attend. One such branch leaped out and tripped me to a flying one-point landing on my right hip, not recommended for someone with ninety year old bones, as are mine.
Typically male, attempting to avoid prying eyes, I struggled to my feet, only to collapse heavily to my seat and elbows on the rain slick sidewalk. Two women appeared by some miracle, “Are you alright?” I wasn’t. A third woman rushed up with cell phone at the ready, “Shall we call 911?” I glanced down at my right foot, which lopped strangely off center, and said perhaps we should. She did.
In the several minutes before I heard distant sirens, the original two women were helping me to sit upright with well placed knees at my shoulder blades. Another someone found an umbrella to shield me and my rescuers from the rain, someone brought a blanket, and yet another brought a tarp to protect me and the blanket. Two cars stopped at the curb for the drivers to offer aid. No less than fifteen people offered help to this old guy that only two of them had ever met.
The fire truck ambulance soon appeared and the “pro’s” took over. They transported me to emergency, confirmed by x-ray that I had a broken hip, kept me comfortable until surgery could be performed ten hours after my awkward dive.
It is those volunteer caregivers who I will remember, who ignored their own comfort and schedules to help a stranger in trouble. To them, and countless others who offer aid and caring for a fellow being, I say, Thank you. Such caring without thought of reward is the glue that binds humanity together.