Last Tuesday a stranger extended such kindness to me that when I later shared the story with my neighbor, she said, “Clearly your birthday angel was looking out for you!”
It was indeed my birthday, a lovely day and about 6:30 p.m. I was driving from North Farm to Barrington. The traffic was backed up in Warren, so I turned down Campbell Street to Water Street. At the corner, a car was turning into Campbell, so I moved to the right – but too far – and bumped over the new curbing. My car started making a terrible sound. As I stopped, a man go out of the white car behind me.
“You have a flat tire,” he said. “Do you have a spare?”
Since I’ve not had a flat in the nine years I’ve had the car, I probably looked blank.
“Open the trunk and I’ll look,” he said, and with that, this pleasant man proceeded to jack up my car, take off the gashed front tire and replace it with my spare. All the time he was explaining what happened and what I should do next – never making me feel like a helpless, stupid old lady.
He said that I needed to get air in the spare as soon as possible. I thought Eagle Gas and Food Mart on Hope Street was the closest place. Mentally, I geared myself up for putting air in my tire – something I hadn’t done in at least 60 years. After thanking him again and again, we said goodbye and I drove off. To my surprise, instead of continuing down Water Street, the white car was following me. When I got to the store and was looking around for the air pump, the kind stranger, my “birthday angel,” was there motioning me over to it.
This act of straightforward kindness is a birthday gift that deserves recognition and sharing.
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