Tag Archives: personal

Day 739: Falling for transit

So, I came across this story today and it really hit home (no pun intended).

Ever since I had a bad fall last September on a city street and dislocated and broke my wrist, I have been very nervous walking down the stairs at the subway.

Just like the man in this story, I’d been rushing … to catch a bus to meet my husband for dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary, as it happens.

I still can’t remember if I tripped on the streetcar tracks, or was jostled by hordes of Toronto Blue Jays fans (I still blame the Jays), but I came crashing to earth as if in slow motion and immediately knew something was wrong with my arm.

I had my own guardian angel that day. A lady in white who appeared out of nowhere and asked if I’d like her to go inside the restaurant I sat in front of to ask for some ice.

A passing police officer also helped me, along with a coworker who happened by and wondered why I was on the ground talking to a policeman. He said he didn’t think I’d had enough time to leave the office and tie one on at the bar. 🙂

Anywayyyys, enough about me.

The reason I mention that is because reading the story below about Yves Allard — who fell down the stairs at Toronto’s Bathurst station and was helped by a Good Samaritan —  reminded me of those lovely people who helped me that day.

I really hope I’ll jump in and help too, if I’m needed. I know now how much simple concern and kindness can mean so much when you’re disoriented and hurt and feeling vulnerable.

I’m going to share this story on social media and I hope anyone reading this does so too, the original link is HERE… to help Yves find the “Good Samaritan” so he can thank him.

Here’s an excerpt of his story:

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by Amara McLaughlin, CP24.com

A Toronto resident is searching for a “Good Samaritan” who called 911 after he tumbled down a TTC staircase while rushing to an appointment on Saturday afternoon, sustaining a head injury.

Yves Allard fell down a flight of stairs in Bathurst Station around 4 p.m. while he was making his way to the subway platform. … A man standing on the platform rushed to his aid until emergency crews arrived.

“He kept my conscious so once in a while he would tap my face to make sure I didn’t pass out,” Allard said.

He was rushed to hospital where he was treated for a deep gash wound on the back of his head, receiving eight staples. … Now he wants to thank the stranger in person and has started an online search, posting to social media “letting my guardian angel know I’m okay and that he saved my life.”

The “Good Samaritan” is described as a shorter man, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, with dark hair.

“I don’t know how to reach him or too much about him … [but] all I want is to thank this man from the bottom of my heart for helping me through a severe trauma,” Allard wrote in his online post.

Full story here.

p.s.

Song for the day:

Love the message of this song, and the performer, Gregory Porter, who I was fortunate enough to see in concert at The Toronto Jazz Festival last summer, and meet him by accident in the CBC Building that same day! It gave me the chance to tell him how much I love his music. I NEVER do things like that if I spot a celebrity… but he was so gracious, he made me glad I did.

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Day 738: The power of music

We’ve probably all experienced the power of music at one time or another … how it can entertain, bewitch, even heal.

This story struck me for two reasons. How volunteering can change the life of the volunteer even more than those they’re helping (it’s done that for me).

And how music connects with a deep part of our soul, and brings us to life.

Just had to share, hope you enjoy it.

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Day 737: Lost and found times two

mitten.JPGOnce upon a time I had a pair of mittens. Warm mittens. Emblazoned with a maple leaf.

I was so careful with these mittens, you’d think they were spun with pure gold, not wool. When I wasn’t wearing them, I’d tuck them into my purse or a tote bag so I wouldn’t drop them. I kept them in a safe place every night so I could grab them in the a.m.

But then, one morning, as I was coming into work, I got distracted by holding the door from the street open for a young guy using crutches, his left leg in one of those hard plastic casts.

I’ve had my fill of casts this past year, so I was eager to help him out. When I left the office that night and my mittens weren’t in my bag, I thought I’d just left them behind on my desk.

Nope. They weren’t there in the morning. I’d lost my beloved mitts.

I shared my sad tale with some colleagues when we were out at lunch and they suggested I check with the security desk on the main floor. Since I’d dropped them somewhere between the main door of the building and our office on the seventh floor, there was a chance some kind soul might have turned them in.

So, on the way back from lunch, a lovely coworker stepped up to the security desk and asked about my mittens. Bam. He pulled out a red, white and grey woolly item. Only one. Then I struck out at the other security desk closer to where I’d opened the door for Mr. Foot Cast.

I was happy to have one back but wasn’t about to give up. A few days later, after a prayer to St. Anthony (the patron saint of lost articles never lets me down 🙂 ), I kept looking around the main floor of the building in case someone had left it on a ledge or something. Nada.

Then something told me to ask again at the security desk I’d struck out at. And Bingo! The security guard pulled out a bin that looked like it was designated for lost and found items and there was my second mitten!

So that meant two different people were kind enough to turn in each of my mittens (which I must’ve dropped separately) at two different security desks.

There is much good in the world my friends. Much good.

p.s.

Song for the day, enjoy!

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Day 731: Fighting the good fight

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You might notice my last post here was in May.

My life took an unexpected turn in May. My sister got very ill. Then, my brother needed emergency lung surgery. And a few weeks after that, my dad had a stroke and my husband and I spent the summer overseeing his care, packing up his house and moving him from his town two hours away to Toronto, to be closer to us.

Oh and I fractured my wrist out of sheer folly and carelessness.

Not only did I have no time to blog about good deeds, I didn’t much feel like doing them. It felt like there was some kind of dark cloud hovering over our family and around every corner was more bad news and road blocks and frustrations.

Did I rise to the occasion and feel appreciative of the small miracles of life and more loving toward my fellow humans? I’m ashamed to say, no. Quite the opposite.

Being sleep deprived and wracked with worry made me short tempered and selfish and resentful. “Why me?” “Why now?” “When do I get my life back??”

Tough times can bring out the best in people, draw out admirable qualities and virtues they never knew they had. You read about average Janes and Joes in the World Trade Center on 9/11 who didn’t hesitate to put others first when it really mattered and rose to the challenge of trying to save as many people as they could.

Or just today, I heard an interview on CBC radio that brought me to tears, about a man in New York who — without hesitating for a second, and at risk to his own health — donated his stem cells to a complete stranger in Toronto who suffered from leukemia.

And here I was complaining about having to trek two hours to Cambridge, Ontario, every Friday after work to pack up my dad’s house and make arrangements for his care.

Very humbling, folks. And a good reminder to me of why I started this blog in the first place.

Because I’m not one of those noble, truly selfless people I mentioned above. I’m usually too stuck in my own head and preoccupied with my own comfort to automatically put the well-being of others before my own. To spontaneously lend a hand. Offer a shoulder. Look a stranger in the eye and smile.

My family isn’t out of the woods yet but I felt like sharing this today after I watched the video above. Not sure why it touched me so deeply but it cracked open a box of worries and regrets and new resolve that hopefully means I can keep fighting the good fight.

It struck me that even though I may not be made of heroic stuff, I can certainly keep trying to be better. Kinder. Even if it’s just in small, simple ways. Doing things from a place of love. For I do believe that’s what we’re here for.

Here’s hoping writing it down like this will help me stick to it. One good deed at a time.

p.s.

In my absence, I missed this really cool project that Patrick shared on my “About Me” page, called the Good Mojo Project. Please do check it out!:

What a fantastic blog and project you have. I wanted to share an idea I came up with called the Good Mojo Project. The idea of the Good Mojo Project is to give a flood of positive messages and posts to one person a day who needs a pick-me-up (like when it is your birthday on Facebook). With enough people buying-in, it would be an amazing experience to see all that support and good energy being directed towards them when they are having a hard time.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be open to sharing the page below and getting more people on board to send the messages?
https://www.facebook.com/GoodMojoProject/
Thanks for checking this out!
Patrick

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Day 13: Gosh, where can they all park?*

My good deed today was of the hypothetical variety. “What if someone needs that parking spot near the entrance more than I do?” I asked myself — pausing momentarily in front of it because I couldn’t believe my luck at finding one so close to the front of the hospital lot.

I need the exercise anyway, I figured, driving past that spot and several other choice ones as I made my way to the upper level.

As I locked my car and started to walk away, an elderly gentleman with a thatch of white hair was leaving his on the opposite side. I noticed his lights were on and pointed it out to him (thinking he was a sweet old guy who probably needs looking after).

“They’re supposed to turn off on their own,” he laughed, catching up to me, “but with these new cars, they take so long, you never know for sure if they will.”

I laughed and his ID tag caught my eye. Turns out, this “old guy who needs looking after” was one of the doctors at the hospital.

“Resist jumping to conclusions” will be on my list for tomorrow!

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*This heading makes more sense if you watched American Idol this season (see “About” page to find out who I’m misquoting).

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Day 1: Welcome!

“You must be the change if you wish to see it in the world.”
Ghandi

You may think performing one good deed a day is easy. Not so much for me. I’m pretty good at being nice to family and friends, but strangers? They terrify me. The one time I stopped to help a blind lady across the street, I was so focused on the path ahead of me that I walked the woman straight into a trash can.

So going into this, I know it won’t be easy. Let’s just say I ain’t Oprah. My “Big Give” is usually to myself — but I’m trying to change that, one small gesture at a time. I’m hoping others will join me on this endeavour and let me know any random acts of kindness you’ve tried or have been offered to you.

Day 1

I lucked out today. I needed to take the bus and subway downtown. LOTS of opportunities for good deeds on public transit, people. This required a real attitude-shift for me, however, as I normally face the prospect of commuting by making a concerted effort to avoid eye contact – or any contact – with anyone.

Doing a good deed would involve looking directly at people and paying attention in case someone needed any help. Yikes! I think I freaked a few people out today when they caught me looking at them.

“Relax,” I wanted to tell them, “I’m not about to pick your pocket, I’m just new at this!”

This trip allowed me to do two nice things, however. A seat came available right beside me and I awkwardly motioned for a grey-haired lady to sit down. It was a bit of a challenge to get her attention since she was also a pro in the art of avoiding eye contact, but eventually the message was conveyed and she thanked me.

This “good deed” didn’t feel like such a big deal until about 10 stops later when my arm started to cramp from hanging on to the overhead bar. Told you this wasn’t going to be easy for me!

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