Monday, February 11, 2013

A story of humanity

A big blizzard--named Charlotte or Nemo depending on which weatherman you ask--hit this weekend in Connecticut dropping nearly 40" of snow on some towns. We were lucky at our house because although we woke up to the huge snowdrifts and buried cars our street was plowed right away and the roads were black again within 24 hours.


But a lot of residents were not so lucky and three days later I am hearing that many relatives and friends are still waiting for their roads to be plowed. Stranded. Some towns have travel bans in effect and even Interstate 91 was closed in both directions this morning due to hazardous road conditions.

And so brings me to my story.

This is Richard:


Richard and I met a few years ago when I was assigned to train him at work.  We liked each other immediately. We had this running joke in the call center where we worked, he had convinced a gullible coworker that I was his daughter, and so I'd always stop by his desk and ask him for $5 or to borrow the keys to his car. And then we'd snicker together if that certain coworker had heard my numerous requests or caught me calling him Dad. This went on for years and I'm still not sure if that particular coworker knows the truth.

Richard is one of those guys who will give you the shirt off of his back, walk an extra mile out of his way to help a friend, so I was quite upset this morning when I read his Facebook status:

Still snowed in. Almost four feet in my driveway with seven foot drifts. the guy who plows nowhere to be found. One more day and I'm out of food. Start walkin'.

Richard has a degenerative back problem and is under strict doctor's orders not to lift more than 12 pounds, his landlord is 85 years old and also is in no condition to shovel. Upon speaking to him further he told me that he is running out of medication, and had already called the fire department, mayor's office, and pharmacy with no luck. No one would help him get out of his house.

A lot of people are stranded at home, a lot, but some people are more in need than others. Since I'm very pregnant and do not have our snow car today I posted a status on Facebook asking for anyone's help. This is dire. He needed help.

Enter another dear friend of mine, this is Tom:


I've known Tom since college and he is one of the nicest guys I've ever met.  He's an incredible father and husband, always spending real quality time with them and building awesome forts (and memories) that they won't soon forget.

When I posted that status about Richard needing help getting his driveway shoveled so that he can get his food and medicine Tom immediately replied and was on his way over to Richard's house within minutes.

Tom showed up to a ton of snow and a very thankful Richard and began to shovel him out.  However, when Richard went down to get a metal rake and came back out into the snow he suffered a terrible asthma attack and landed himself in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

But Tom's kindness didn't stop there.  He went to the hospital to check in on Richard--whom he has never met before today, mind you--and offered to give him a ride home once he was discharged.

Richard is home now and two of his neighbors are currently snow blowing out the rest of his driveway.

I'm going to go to sleep tonight feeling thankful for everyday angels like Tom, for good friends, and with a restored faith in humankind.