Helping Hands

by Lillian Csernica on May 8, 2013


Day 8: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

Here’s a news flash:  I’ve been dead.  That’s right, stone cold roadkill.  On a night in late August, 1987, I died in a car accident.  I was out in the middle of nowhere at 11:30 p.m.  Two strangers, a LVN and an Air Force Paramedic, happened to be driving by.  They resuscitated me and kept me going until the ambulance could arrive from thirty miles away.  You can call it luck or you can call it Fate, but I’m content to call it the kindness of two strangers who jumped right in when they saw I needed help.

Around Christmastime the newspapers like to run stories about “angels” who have appeared right when people needed help, then vanished just as suddenly.  These “angels” look like ordinary people who happen to know what needs to be known or can do whatever needs to be done.  Whether or not those people really are angels is beside the point.  Being there when people need you and giving whatever help you can provide, that’s what matters.

I live in the mountains.  It gets really dark at night on the highway under the redwoods.  One night my husband, my older son, and I were driving home along the highway when I saw a face come out of the darkness and flash past.  I told my husband and we stopped.  Sure enough, three college-age boys had gone hiking and gotten lost.  They couldn’t find their car before night fell, and now they had no idea where they were.  My husband told them to keep walking south.  He’d take me and our son home (Michael was in a car seat then), then he’d come back for the three boys.  I sent a care package of peanut butter sandwiches, apples, and drinks with my husband.  Later he told me the boys fell on the food with all kinds of thanks.  They’d been hiking for hours and were really hungry.  My husband took them to their car, and they went on their way.

I could tell you more stories of people I’ve helped and people who’ve been there to help me.  I’m sure you have some stories of your own.  You’ll understand when I say this is the best piece of advice I’ve been given, and the best one I could give:

Life is short.

Be kind to everybody.

We never know how far one act of kindness can reach.  It can be enough to get somebody through a really bad day at work.  It can even be enough to change the mind of someone who’s contemplating suicide.  So next time, when you see that young mother with her two or three little kids struggling to get them and her cart  through the check-out line, let her go first.  Maybe help unload her cart while she manages the kids.  Hold the door for the elderly man who’s on his way in.  Smile when you happen to meet the glance of a stranger.  It doesn’t take much, folks.  And it can make our world so much better for all of us.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog challenges, Depression, Family, Special needs, Writing

One response to “Helping Hands

  1. zoe

    Lillian thanks so much for stopping by my site. I dont think enduring relationships constitute insanity! LOL! Well most anyway! I love this post. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes–“Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting their own battle.”


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