My “What would you do?” moment

10 Nov

At the risk of sounding boastful, I want to share a story of a good deed. It was my “What would you do?” moment and I’m sharing it because I want people to know that someone cares and good deeds happen by strangers all the time.

I was driving with my teenage daughter on a busy two lane road (about 5:30 PM) and I noticed an elderly man in a wheelchair on the road’s shoulder.  His wheelchair looked stuck and his head was hanging as if he’d had a stroke or was extremely tired.  It was getting a little nippy out and the traffic was getting heavier, but this poor guy was sitting there on the road’s shoulder, which wasn’t more than a piece of broken-up concrete.  My daughter and I looked at each other and it was a “What would you do?” moment.  Keep driving? Or…turn around and help?

You guessed it.

We turned the car around.  I pulled up alongside him and asked if he was okay.  I heard a low murmur, “My battery’s dead.”  That’s when I knew I couldn’t drive away.  I pulled over and we walked toward him.  He looked to be an elderly man, in his 80’s (?) with one leg and a thin jacket on.  At this point, thoughts crossed my mind about stranger danger.  After all, I grew up in a big city where you NEVER picked up a stranger, regardless how frail they looked. (Old Grandma could have a semi tucked under her shawl…) I said a silent prayer and asked God to help me make the right decision here.

At first, I asked him if there was anyone I could call for him.  His face revealed the answer before he uttered a word.  “No,” he answered quietly.  Either there was no one to call or he’d forgotten their phone number. His eyes looked away, as if I would leave it at that and go home.

What would you do?

I felt God’s peace here and asked, “Can I give you a ride home?”

His eyes lit up and he looked a little in shock. “Really?” I said he’d have to help me figure out how to dismantle his wheelchair and how to get him in my car.  He said he would just hop over and he’d explain what to do.  I popped my trunk and he hopped right over to the back bumper, where he sat down and gave me instructions.  Then he hopped over to the side of my car and got in the back seat.

I had NO IDEA how heavy wheelchair batteries are! There were two of them and each had to weigh at least twenty pounds! The wheelchair wasn’t too hard to collapse – similar to a stroller from years ago when I had to figure that one out – and it was heavy too.  I was lucky my daughter was with me and helped me lift that thing. I honestly don’t know how people lift these in and out of cars all the time for their loved ones. Now, THAT’S love.

His house was just a few blocks over and my daughter and I introduced ourselves. He said his name was Fred and he thanked me repeatedly.  I asked him, “So, Fred, where were you heading?”

“The store.”

“What did you want to buy?”

He replied, “Cigarettes.”

I half-joked, “Well, Fred, maybe this was a sign to quit smoking, eh?”

He laughed at that and by then we were at his house.  We unloaded the wheelchair and got him situated. Fred thanked us again several times and we said our good-byes.

My “What would you do?” moment stayed with me the rest of the week and I’ll probably never forget Fred. I felt blessed meeting him and he reminded me that we all live on this same planet and, while we may not know each other, we can help each other.  We are all God’s children.

~~ Maggie


Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Good Deeds


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “My “What would you do?” moment

  1. Michelle Isenhoff

    November 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    There are times you just have to trust your gut and know you’re doing the right thing. Good for you, Maggie.

  2. LeRoy Dean

    November 10, 2011 at 10:55 PM


  3. aefountain

    November 10, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    What would I do? I would have done the same thing.

    I live in a City of about 700,000 in Canada. I came from Toronto, of millions.
    A few months ago, a new immigrant to Canada came to my desk at the bank and asked for a print-out of his account for our Provincial Car Insurance Company (yes, we have only one). I provided what I have always provided to our clients and sent him about 7 blocks away. He returned and in his broken English, he told me it wasn’t good enough and then needed more. So I stamped it again with a more offically looking Bank Stamp, added my full signature, employee # and my authorization number, with my phone #. Sadly, in walked the man a 3rd time. I was so frustrated for this young man and I thought what a horrible impression we are giving him. I decided to call the Insurance Company and track down the employee he had spoken to (a few thousand employees). I did get a hold of the woman after several connections and explained who I was and why I was calling. For whatever reason, she had to place me on hold and what happened next?

    You got it! She hung on me.

    I grabbed my purse, grabbed my coat and told my boss I was going on break and told the young guy to follow me.

    As I got in my vehicle and he sat down next to me, I turned to him and said “Let me tell you one thing, if for any reason you are thinking to hurt me, my husband is going to kill me first and you second”. I laughed, kind of, sort of.

    Off I drove him and I to the Insurance Company, found the woman, snapped at her for the treatment and told her that I have just driven a complete stranger in my car, to show to him we truly are the friendliest Province (our mantra), so you damn well better sort things out for him or I promise I will be back.

    I hugged the guy goodbye, told him to come to see me and let me know how things turned out and I took off.

    A week later I received a beautiful thank you card.

    So yes I would have stopped.

    Oh by the way, I am 5 feet tall, very young looking 50 year old woman with about 15 extra pounds.

  4. Lizzette Waiki

    November 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …


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