Best Story of the Week…April 26

I’m coming from the subway in Grand Central, when I see a young mother with a one-year old in a stroller. I watch her examine the stairs knowing, she’ll have a hard time maneuvering everything on her own. I look to see if any men stop to help, but none do.

A man of color in a wheelchair, positioned in a corner, is watching too. He’s huge, like a Linebacker, very well kept, missing a leg.

Meanwhile, it’s Easter Sunday so Grand Central is packed with commuters and yet, no one still thinks to stop.

I say to the mom, can I help in any way? She smiles, says no, placing her daughter down as she capably collapses the stroller.

I stand by this little Asian doll who looks at me as if to say, I’ve seen this all before.

So me and the man of color, watch them stoically disappear down the busy stairwell.

I look his way, sighing heavily.

“I can’t believe no man stopped to carry that stroller for her. I would have at least tried, if she had let me. I’ve learned though, in my helpful travels, to ask first.”

He says, “Yeah, I see this a lot. People just are too much in a hurry these days to lend a hand, on the other end, it’s also hard to accept one.” It was then I saw he had a cup discreetly attached to the arm of his wheelchair.

“I rarely carry cash,” I say, “but do have a bunch’a quarters. Would that help?”

He laughs. “Come to think of it, it would, because I need to do laundry.”

Don’t ask me why this popped out of my mouth, but I say, “You know what I know without a doubt? If you were able, you would have helped that young mom.”

He looks at me like the man I instinctively know he is and says, “I would have helped her in a minute. You are so right.”

After an awkward silence I say, “I’m Susannah.”

“Lorenzo,” he answers.

“Happy Easter Lorenzo, it was really nice meeting you.”

“Likewise, and thanks for stopping to talk to me.”

It was then I realized he was a Vietnam Vet, something else he was discreet about.

Hankies all around.


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 Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, Faith, friendship, grace, humanity, inspiration, kids, men, New York City, parents, travel, words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Best Story of the Week…April 26

  1. Dale says:

    It’s a fend for yourself world. A young mother would not think to ask for help because she must learn to go it alone very often. I imagine she also feels that to accept an offer of help undermines her capabilities (silly, but there you have it).
    And I think you saw that vet looking at the situation with the same eyes you were. Kindred spirits. War heroes, both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    If my Pookie or one of my sons had been there they would have helped too. He taught our boys well. Same goes for giving up a seat, etc. I’d also say that 75% of the people in our small town would do the same. It’s just a different world up here in the boonies.
    Lorenzo sounds like a class act, as are you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorryless says:


    You and Lorenzo got it right.

    I’ve been in that position where I offered to assist someone, and the responses ran the gamut- from appreciation to indifference to outright hostility.

    I think indifference ticked me off the most, LOL. I mean, I was happy for the appreciation and I even understood the less than pleasant responses because we kind of are conditioned to expect the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eilene Lyon says:

    I hope there are a lot more people like you in that big city. It makes me wonder if our urban zones have become too impersonal. I had a recent experience in Berkeley I’ll be sharing soon that was a bright spot, like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People can be wonderful when given the opportunity. Even the mean ones, are not always as mean as we think they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. eraeg says:

    As a mother, I thank you. As a human, I thank you. My grandmother always said “manners can be fun” and if not, they can help you find a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WTG says:

    Great story of connection and kindness. Everyone felt present in the story. Real.

    I particularly liked this line:

    “I’ve learned though, in my helpful travels, to ask first.”

    Your “helpful travels.” Lovely description.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vasca Beall says:

    Such a wonderful story, Susannah. I now use my walker wherever I go and even though I can get around w/o help, it never fails…adult or youngster…male or female…someone’s always speeding up to smilingly assist w/doors, etc. My wonderful husband, Michael, is a Memory Care resident but insists on helping any and everyone in any possible way. He taught our four sons and our ten grand’s about manners and they are always there to help others. Good manners are such an asset and so appreciated…most always. Always an exception…or two. Love manners; they matter. Touching piece…thanks.


  9. Zeeshan Amin says:

    Whenever I ride a train and see the stickers instructing the passengers to leave the seat for pregnant women or elderly or sick, I come to think why people are being compelled to exercise compassion. I mean, it should be a voluntary act.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, but it’s not. It’s as if it’s gone out of style. I ride the train a lot, and the politest people are those of color. The Latino busboy who worked all night is the one who gives up his seat, while the CEO reading his Wall Street Journal doesn’t even notice the pregnant woman or someone with a cane. It never fails to astound me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Zeeshan Amin says:

    No wonder, we are living in a world where kindness has to be promulgated. Nice story 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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