What Was The Kindest Thing You Did For Another

images-5My Kennedy piece, Where Were You Fifty Years Ago Today https://athingirl.com/2013/11/22/so-where-were-…ears-ago-today, did really well. People loved and answered the question which is what has inspired me to ask another.

In our lifetime, there is always at least one memorable event when we decided to help our fellow man. I’m not talking when it’s expected either, like putting your kid through school or helping a pal move into a new house. I’m referring to what’s known as, a random act of kindness propelled by a sudden urge, need even, to serve someone else.

I pondered this for a good long while. I do nice things all the time. It’s probably the very best part of me, that I pay attention to what goes on in my midst. Throw in my sudden hearing loss that has widened my heart even more, one could say I rival a Quaker.

It had to be in the late 70s when I still went home to Connecticut to visit my mother. I was all of 25 sitting in the Fairfield Railroad Station waiting to escape back to New York wondering how long it would take me to walk. Going back there was like a short tour in Nam so one could say I was more than a little eager to depart.

There’s a young African American girl sitting on a bench weeping. In those days she was still considered Black, an improvement from when I was little when she was called colored. What I remember most were her tears. They were huge saucers making her look slightly cartoonish plopping down her cheeks like giant raindrops. I never knew tears came in different sizes before.

The thing about me you need to remember is I suffered, and still do in a way, from chronic naivety syndrome. I thought nothing of asking her what was wrong.

She is all of 25 too, chubby, dressed in a modest skirt and blouse. Can’t recall what I was wearing, but I was in my Milanese model mode in those years so God only knows. Probably ribbed tights with an oversized mans shirt, one of my dad’s Perry Como cardigans thrown over it. Oh yes, I indeed thought of myself as the consummate fashion blue-plate special.

At first she doesn’t answer me. I was a skinny white girl after all, how could I possibly care what is wrong with her. But I ask again,”What’s the matter? Maybe I can help.” I recall handing her a tissue quickly saying, “It hasn’t been used.” And she taking it, blowing her nose rather loudly. It honked like Tommy Pivorotto’s red Chevy.

She then looks at me while a fresh batch of Looney Tune tears burst down her chubby cheeks mumbling, “I’m just so cold.”

Well let me tell you another thing about me. Being cold is my worst nightmare. I can handle fatigue, hunger, even nausea before battling a chill.

I have on a little cashmere cap Wilhelmina had given to all the models for Christmas, so I take it off and give it to her. “Here,” I said, “put this on.”

“But that’s your hat,” she said, more than a little surprised.

“Yeah, but now it’s yours.” I then go and buy us both tea. We silently sit together until the train pulls into the station.

I chose that incident because, I loved that hat. I loved Willie, and she was already not well so I knew it was probably the last gift she’d be able to give to anyone. Yet I gave it away anyway, to someone who truly needed it because now, those Tubby The Tuba tears were no longer. Besides, what a better way to honor a woman I so adored and admired that was about to take flight from the earth.

So here we go folks…

What was the kindest thing you have ever done? When did you, and for whom, put yourself aside, your own needs and wants just for a second, to aid another.

I’d sure like to know.        images-4

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Fashion, friendship, Gratitude, Health, humor, Love, modeling, New York City, parents, Uncategorized, women, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to What Was The Kindest Thing You Did For Another

  1. Quaker indeed friend…lol. I have not thought about this in years, but one night on my way to pick up a pizza for dinner I saw a woman laying on the sidewalk. I skipped my turn to the pizza place to see why this woman was on the sidewalk and why was no one stopping. I parked my wheels, walked over to the woman and inquired. She was elderly and had no idea why she was where she was or how to get home. After rummaging through her purse I finally was able to contact her son, who was very skeptical of my intentions, but did finally show up to retrieve his momma. In all the time I was there only 2 other people, a lovely couple stopped to help. I never got the pizza, because I completely forgot that’s what I was doing.

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    • That’s a great story..filing that one along Skinny’s. I see that all the time here. The other day getting off at 59th Street which is the stop for The Lighthouse, the organization for the blind, it hit me between the eyes, pun always intended. There was a young girl clanging into walls…20 the most, trying to get out and no one…NO ONE…helped her. The station was packed too. Now there I am thinking, you know Susannah…you may have hearing issues, but you just read all the up from downtown…what if you were blind…so I enlisted myself, took her by the hand and off we ventured to the escalator. But I see you very clearly forgetting all about that mozzarella and mushroom pie to help that poor soul that no one else, including her addled son…HELLO…SUSPICIOUS…I’M SUSPICIOUS OF HIM…even noticed her. Omigod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And thne we wonder why the world is going to hell in a hand basket…thanks for taking the time to share. I know you’re going to work.

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  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    From 1988-1998 my honey and I adopted a family for Christmas. We bought Christmas gifts and groceries and delivered them a week before Christmas.
    We also got the names of elderly shut-ins. We delivered a multicourse meal cooked and packed up the day before, and one size fits all gifts (gloves, socks, t-shirts, slippers, etc) that I collected throughout the year. We delivered these to the elderly (a low of 11 and a high of 19) on the day before Christmas. When we started, we had one child, and by ’96 we had four. We made the kids wear santa hats while delivering.
    The children are now grown and on their own, but I think my sweetie and I need to start doing this again.

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    • Oh Skinny, I am so humbled by what you just wrote..you walk the walk as they say. I feel so sad when I hear the needs of others. Simple ones…kids who require books…second hand ones…not even new ones. The elderly who no one visits…AIDES babies. I knew a woman named Carol who used to go to this awful hospital in Harlem and hold them during the big scare where most people, minus brain cells, amazing how many there were, thought they were contagious. These little wisps of matter that were probably not going to make it out of their incubator. Her vigilance made me sob. I went once and couldn’t stop weeping. I admire you Skinny, and your husband. Tell him 🙂

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  3. jimmie chew says:

    that was so nice s.b. you do do nice things for people all the time dont you, i know i am lucky to know you.
    i always help animals, the last person i help’d was an older lady last year after the storm when we lost our power, got her milk everyday and check’d to make sure she was ok every night. once the lights came back on, she didnt want anything to do with me. 😦

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    • Were you in your pajamas? I know you do that…if she was really old…she probably didn’t remember. Thought you were just the milkman. I have learned when you help anyone over 70, deliver the goods and don’t look back. I know what a nice goil you are better than anybody. You excel in sweetness, and that Jimmie and his two brothers, Darnell and Finn, not to mention their cousins, Only, Poupette, Ellie and that bitch Twiggy, are very, very lucky to have you as a mom as I am, to have you as a friend 🙂

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  4. katecrimmins says:

    When I was a fledgling human resource manager in a company where the leadership was resistant to human resource professionals, there was a supervisor who was always kind. We sorted out some employee issues and I taught her some basic good supervisory skills that wouldn’t get her in trouble legally nor would her people hate her. She was so good to me when I was starting out. She had a muscular disease under the MS umbrella that was quite rare. As the years went by, she became increasingly infirm. I worked with her to accommodate her illness as much as I could but the day came when she needed to be bedridden pretty much of the time. Oh yes, she had 2 teenage sons, one of whom also had the disease and her boyfriend and father of the kids took off because he couldn’t handle it. I used to give my holiday money to her, had food delivered for the holidays and helped get departments to do fund raisers. I did it until I left the company and lost contact with her. I always felt that she gave me far more than I gave her. She gave me affirmation and a sense of purpose when I needed it most. I only gave her stuff.

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    • I’m here weeping…tell me that’s not a sobering story. If it wasn’t only 11:30 a.m. I’d head straight for a bar. i always think I’m the only one with problems than I hear that…I admire you greatly for helping her…really Kate..you’re a hero…

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  5. micklively says:

    I can’t match you Susannah. My offerings seem rather paltry in comparison.
    My second wife and I housed Bill and Stef Bowes, with their three kids, for two months, when their house purchase fell through. It was a bit cramped but we got through it.
    I brewed all the beers and wines for the Asha Delhi slum relief charity party in Nettleham and we raised £1500.
    I gave Ronny Veebel my motorcycle when he had no way to get to work.
    I like to help but I lack your spontaneity (and observation skills).

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    • That’s not nothing…honestly Mick…there’s no judgment here nor is it a contest. I just think random acts of kindness are so awe-inspiring. I like that you helped those people. We don’t help enough. We are so myopic and self-centered as individuals that we just don’t see suffering anymore. We walk on by. I witness it all the time. No, I like what you did. It’s great Mick 🙂

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  6. Elle Knowles says:

    My husband is a band director and has many students whose parents cannot afford to pay their students band fee even though it is minimal. We have fundraisers throughout the year to help put money in each of their student accounts that can cover band fees, end of the year trips, entry fees, etc. When my last child graduated 3 years ago I picked out one student to help by buying from all the fundraisers from him. (Even though I don’t need any of the items! They make great gifts!) I have also deposited a small lump sum anonymously into his student account each year to help out. Band is sometimes the only thing that keeps some of these kids off the street and out of trouble.

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    • Please forgive me…I had answered this but for some reason it didn’t register…the vagaries of wordpress…I love how you put money in his account…wow..talk about letting a kid know he’s worthy. And you have your own kids yet there was still some motherings left over…maternal remnants that you just couldn’t see going to waste…great story…and yes, every kid wants to be in a band…me too. You and your instrument…one of your first pals that’s always there…never deserts…thanks for sharing this. Again sorry if I came across rude in its reply’s tardiness.

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