What a night!
Joe and I were at a meeting in the community center in the area in which we live. We were both tired from the trip from which we'd just returned but we were looking forward to going to the meeting and playing out part in the life of this community. I hopped into my power chair, which I haven't used in weeks, and we sailed down to the meeting.
After the meeting was over I had to stay a little bit longer because I'm on the board and we had a few things to vote on. I turned on my chair to turn it around and it just died. Simply, quickly, died. So instead of me going down to the rest of the group, they shimmied down to where I was sitting. I was informed that the hall in which we had met was empty the next day so we could leave the chair there overnight if we needed. I was lent a phone to call Joe and ask him to bring my manual down so I could get home.
After the votes were over and we adjourned for the night. Joe came and we were trying to figure out timing we had a full day the next day. In both our minds we were worried about Joe pushing the chair up the hill to our place. The chair can be disengaged and pushed, but it's a big, heavy chair. Our first problem though was the fact that Joe had been unable to get the lever that disengages the chair and turns it into a push chair to work.
Just then I saw a young guy come into the community centre where this was all happening, he was called into the room and asked if he could help with the lever which seemed to be stuck. Joe showed him by saying, and showing, "You just need to do this," and with those words, the lever worked.
There were others around from the board meeting and suddenly discussions were happening about the chair and getting it up to our place. A women, with organization skills aplenty, suggested that Joe drive me and my manual back to our place and this young guy push the chair for us and meet us there. Joe and I protested and they protested right back, "Not a big deal," he said, "I'm glad to do it."
On my way out of the building I said to everyone and no one, "When you have something really shitty happen and then someone does something nice the world comes right again." And that's what it felt like. A crisis had been averted. There's still the problem of the chair but that now moves into a some "tomorrow" sometime situation.
We got home and he'd beat us there, it's a long push, and a hard push, but he was there with the chair. We thanked him for his help, he assured us that he was glad to help. And we were home.
When a community is a community, when a community lives up to it's potential as a community, everyone benefits. Joe and I, who strive to be self sufficient, sometimes aren't. It's nice to know that we live in a place where neighbours matter, where help is given because it's needed, where the principles of community are upheld.
We've never felt so at home anywhere in our lives.
That IS community! and by accepting assistance, you allow others the chance to share what they have...being able to rely on each other is the essence of community.
Heartwarming. You would do what you could, automatically, for someone else. Glad it's reciprocal.
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