Tonight I had plans of coming straight home after a quick after work meeting. I thought I would make a nice dinner and get my house ready for my granddaughter's arrival tomorrow night. But then I remembered I needed to buy a Valentine at the store. And then on my way to the store, I realized I needed to buy some food for Aurelia's visit. Good, I'll take care of my shopping and then go home and make a good dinner.
Coming home, I was almost to my garage, when I decided to stop, back up to the mail boxes and pick up my mail. I put my flashers on, got out of my car, and got my mail, and turned back to my car when I heard a voice in the distance. "Can you help me?" I replied, "I don't see you. Where are you?" "Over here by the trash cans (lined up for garbage pick-up tomorrow morning)." I walked over and there on the ground lay my upstairs neighbor - an 85 year old man, recently widowed. I asked him how long he had been lying there and he told me about ten minutes. I threw down my mail and tried with all my strength to help him get up, but he was too heavy, and my lower back was really hurting. I went to his other side again and lifted and lifted, while he tried to grab onto a recycling bin for support, but his weak knees made it impossible. Next I suggested he crawl on his knees to the nearby tree - only 20 inches or so away, and then we could try again, hoping his leaning on the tree would help him to stand while I lifted. No luck.
At last I told him I needed to get someone to help. "Can you lie here a minute longer?" "Yes, I think I can." I spotted a boyfriend's car in one of my neighbor's drive, so I hurried to her door, rang the bell, and waited for someone to come. No answer. I rang the bell again. This time I heard rumblings. Sue opened the door. I told her why I needed help. She yelled up to her boyfriend. These dear neighbors came running outside, stocking footed, in 26 degree weather. They each took an underarm and gently lifted him up and walked him to our building and up his flight of stairs to his unit.
I hate to think of what may have happened to Jim had I not stopped for the mail tonight. Most of my neighbors were all "buttoned in" for the night. It was dark and cold outside. I don't know if it was fate, or if God was putting me in the right place at the right time, but I'm very relieved that things worked out for my upstairs neighbor.