Reaching more than 35,000 subscribers in 106 countries, this is…
HeroicStories #589: 8 February 2005 www.HeroicStories.com
Dear Readers and Friends,
I have enjoyed HeroicStories for many years because they give a true picture of what our human family is really about. HeroicStories are about us. About the small and large gestures of love, caring, kindness and compassion which we show to each other, and which are more prevalent in the human condition than we may realize. When I’m feeling in need of cheering and a cleansing tear, I read through some HeroicStories, and before I know it I’m back on track. If you want to receive these jewels of hope and wisdom, sign up for your free subscription at: http://www.HeroicStories.com
The Calm Man
by Lin Witham
Christmas 2001 I raced to ready my young son for my new boss’s holiday party. With the potluck item and clean clothes on my son, my holiday spirit lagged. I stopped for gas before the 40-minute drive, then took my son inside the station to pay.
A frantic woman ran in the door, screaming. She told the attendant the hose had jumped out, sprayed her with gas, and was still running. Her coat, hands, and hair were dripping gas. He pointed to the bathroom, waited on the next customer, then waved us up. She came out of the bathroom, saying the sink was too small.
A man came in, took her hand, and said calmly, “I saw it all. I’ll help you.” He told the attendant to use the shut off valve. The attendant didn’t know its location; together they found it. Then the calm man asked, “Do you have a hose to spray her off?”
All three went behind the station and found a spigot, but no hose. They returned, but she wanted to avoid the hospital because she had no money. She looked at me, pleading, “Can you take me home to shower”?
I hesitated only a moment. I handed over my gasoline money, saying, Come on! She gave the calm man keys to move her car. I put my son in his car seat and spread a blanket for her.
Heading up my driveway, I noticed her car following. I panicked briefly, realizing I’d brought them both home. Could it be a set up? I stopped, quickly gave her my house key, saying, The bathroom’s upstairs.
I began to walk my son next door. I told the man, You cannot go inside. I asked my neighbor (a single woman I hardly knew) to watch my son a while as I was in a strange situation.
I returned and found towels and clothing for the woman in my shower. We garbage bagged her clothes. Back outside, the calm man asked to use my hose to wash gas off her car. He never questioned my fear to let him in. My neighbor called a friend to come check on me. He came bearing a pot of tea and cookies, my neighbor and my son. I invited in the calm man, and we all sat to talk. The calm man was homeless and drifting. I complimented his calm and leadership ability. He said, “I just did the right thing”.
I called the shelter and offered to take him. He asked just to be returned to the gas station because he’d left things nearby. He expected nothing else. He was a gracious, kind, and helpful man.
After tea the woman left, clean and healthy. I hugged and thanked my neighbor and her friend as they left with tears in my eyes. I missed the Christmas party, but that was the best Christmas season I ever had. The effort of neighbors and strangers to help each other was remarkable.
Check out our new Book Resources Pages:
Books to educate, illuminate, inspire, and more
(Including our own HeroicStories books, of course.)
Please let us know your thoughts about our story! We can’t print them
until you send them. Your comments are always welcome. Send to:
Joyce Schowalter, Publisher
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place
SUBSCRIPTIONS to HeroicStories are FREE. Just send a blank message to
email@example.com or visit http://www.HeroicStories.com
COMMENTS about stories are always welcome — please include your first
name and location: Comments@HeroicStories.com
TO SUBMIT A STORY, see our submission guidelines, tips and information
PUBLISHED BY HS & Son, Inc., PO Box 55213, Seattle, WA 98155, USA.
HeroicStories is a trademark of HS & Son, Inc. Newspapers can get
the stories as a regular feature column for FREE. For details, send
your paper’s editor to http://www.heroicstories.com/column.html
http://www.HeroicStories.com — All Rights Reserved.
All broadcast, publication, or copying to the WWW, e-mail lists, or any
other medium, online or not, is prohibited without prior written
permission from HeroicStories.
However, permission is granted to circulate this publication via manual
forwarding by e-mail to friends providing that the text is forwarded IN
ITS ENTIRETY, from the “Reaching more than” line on top through the end
of this paragraph, and NO FEE is charged. We request that you forward no
more than three copies to any one person — after that, they should get
their own subscription.