My world is full of people who are kind to me. They love me and like me and befriend me and forgive me and put up with me. And I am so grateful to all of them. But sometimes, it is the random kindness of a stranger that can make all the difference.
The plane ride to Chicago from Calgary with Daughter#2, my wounded warrior, was difficult, to put in mildly. Going thru security, they asked if she could get out of the wheel chair, because otherwise they’d have to give her a pat down. So she walked thru the metal detector on crutches, and then had to stand there because they had to pat her down anyway. They were pleasant and gentle, but still, she was exhausted before it was thru. Then the flight was delayed by and hour and then some. Then the incompetent attendant who was sent to wheel her down the jetway ran her bad leg into a pillar, saying, “Oh, did that hurt? I didn’t see your leg sticking out.” So now the brave one is in tears of pain and trying to find a way to get reasonably comfortable in an airplane seat while all the other passengers are loading.
The man seated across the aisle from us offered his jacket and backpack for knee propping, and, more importantly, the seat next to him so that I could move and give the knee a little more room to stretch out. He asked just enough questions to show concern without being pushy, we talked for a bit about his Kobe ereader. Not a single other person or crew member on that flight had a kind word to say to me or Ellen.
As he was leaving, we had the following exchange, which has stayed with me for weeks now.
Me: Thank you for your kindness.
Stranger: It was easy.
Me: Not for everyone.
Stranger: It should be.
I love how he said, “It was easy.” Not, “It was nothing.” Because it wasn’t nothing. For that 2 hours it was everything to me. And kindness is easy. For friends and strangers, there is no reason not to always be kind.
P.S. The knee continues to improve and strengthen, pretty much right on schedule. Still wearing the massive brace while weight bearing, but the crutches are a thing of the past. The knee can now bend past 90 degrees! Next major milestone to work towards: driving.