It seems to me that there are some really nice people hereabouts. Oh, sure, we have a number of “nice” people among our friends and relatives, those folks we encounter fairly regularly, but I’m referring to individuals who go out of their way to perform friendly, helpful acts for someone they don’t know – complete strangers. That’s what happened to us recently – and here’s the story.
We got a call from our youngest son on a recent Saturday that he was in the hospital in a large nearby city. He had been having abdominal pains and his girl friend insisted he go to the hospital emergency room to be checked out. He was admitted with a preliminary diagnosis that would surgery would be required.
We know where this very large hospital is located in that we have frequently driven past it, but we haven’t had the occasion to go to the facility for a number of years. I remembered seeing signs for hospital parking so we followed them to a parking garage and slowly ascended the gently upward sloping ramps through the color-coded levels. We figured we were fortunate in finding an open “handicap” space on the “Orange” level next to the elevators. I off-loaded my Sweetheart-for-Life’s wheelchair, seated her comfortably, and started off to locate our son.
We had no difficulty in locating and crossing the walkway from the garage to the hospital and in finding a courtesy phone where I got directions to our son’s room. While we were orienting ourselves about which direction to proceed, a young woman wearing hospital “scrubs” and a name tag asked if she could help. I explained that we were looking for a certain elevator but were unsure where it was. She kinda laughed and commented that the hospital layout was a bit confusing but to follow her and she would take us there – and so she did.
Upon arriving at the proper floor we were a bit perplexed about how to locate our son’s room. Once again a young woman wearing scrubs came up to us and asked if she could help – and escorted us to his room. End of the story about “nice” people? Nope, there’s more still to come.
We got a better understanding from our son’s girl friend about his condition – he was to have surgery the next day (Sunday) if the preliminaries went well, but in the meantime he was pretty heavily sedated. And so, after an hour or so we left him to return home – which proved to be quite an adventure.
In navigating the rather bewildering maze of corridors to the elevators and eventually to the parking garage, we were once again assisted by scrubs-clad women and even a guy cleaning one of the hallways – all of whom volunteered to help us in our search. Eventually we came to what appeared to be a reception desk where a man was engrossed in looking at what appeared to be a laptop computer screen. In response to my inquiry about getting to the parking garage he looked up long enough to give us instructions and then returned to his computer screen.
When we got to the walkway, it didn’t look familiar and as we stood there obviously confused, two scrubs-clad young women came up and asked if they could help. After I described our dilemma, they told us they had just come from the parking garage and one led us back across a walkway to the garage entrance. We took the elevator to the “Orange” level only to find our car was not there.
Figuring I had made an error in recalling where we had parked, we tried all the different levels, eventually going to the top of the garage and walking down the ramps – all the time with my pushing the wheelchair. As we approached the “Orange” level exit again, a couple asked if we needed help. After I explained our problem, the woman told us there were two parking garages and we were obviously in the wrong one. Furthermore, she insisted that, rather than our trying to find it on foot, they would drive us there.
Accordingly, with us on board, they exited “their” parking garage and drove to “our” parking garage – and right to our car parked exactly as I had remembered it. Furthermore, they refused to let us pay for the additional parking garage fee they had incurred. Now, folks, we had never seen this couple before and didn’t even get their names – they just wished us a nice day and drove off. How about them apples!
Do you figure the sight of a white-bearded, gray-haired guy pushing a wheelchair occupied by a white-haired woman was the sole inspiration for these offers of help or would all these folks offered assistance regardless? Well, that’s a tough question, but as for me, I just think there are some really nice people hereabouts. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.