Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One of my favorite posts from the past

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I ran into a former coworker yesterday and she said she thought of me the other day when she saw someone helping an elderly person across the street.  She was referencing this story that I shared on my blog over 2 years ago.  What I experienced  that day changed my life forever.  I learned that when you help someone in need you actually get more out of it than the person that needed the help.  It's amazing people aren't helping others more often!  Some of you that have been reading my blog awhile may remember this story...
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I have a thing for white aprons as you can see. I don't use them I just like to display them. The middle one is one of my favorites because it's linen. I just love linen and lace!

The white aprons were my planned post for today but then something happened yesterday that I have to share...

I was driving back to work from an appointment I had yesterday morning. I was irritated because the appointment had started late and I was very late getting back to work. For some reason I was not paying attention and I turned onto the wrong freeway! Luckily further up the freeway there is a road that connects to the freeway I should have been on so I took that exit. I was going with the flow of traffic when I realized even though we had a green light that cars were stopping. I slowed down and then I saw a tiny, very hunched-back old lady crossing the street against the traffic! A car came flying up in the lane next to me and I thought for sure I was going to witness this lady get hit by a car. I let out a huge gasp, my heart dropped into my stomach and every muscle in my body tightened up! Luckily the driver saw her in time and was able to stop. I could tell the woman did not even know what was going on around her!

Once she finally reached the other side of the street, our light turned red so we were all sitting there in our cars looking at this woman. I was waiting for someone to help her as I'm sure everyone else was. I realized that I needed to step up and offer to help. The light was still red so I got out of my car and yelled over to her to see if she needed help. As she looked up, I could see tears in her eyes and she shook her head yes.

When the light turned green, I turned into the parking lot. She was so frail. Her back was so bad, her body was bent in half with her face pointing to the ground. She was wearing pajama bottoms and she had a push cart with a few belongings; just some candy, a newspaper, adult diapers and a pillow. She told me she was from Modesto, which is over an hour away and that she had come here for her mother's funeral. She said some mean woman had stolen her money that she was going to use to take the train back home to Modesto. She said she only needed $15 more. I started to think maybe it was a scam but then I remembered how she was almost hit by a car. I told her to get in my car and I would get her help.

My cell phone is broken so I drove her back to my work and told my coworkers what happened. They gave me some money for her, about $14. She was in a lot of pain and told me she had a prescription at a pharmacy that she needed to get for back pain. I took her to a pharmacy by my work and got the prescription transferred there. I bought her the medicine, some adult diapers because she only had two left, wipes & lunch. I wouldn't have been able to spend this much money on her this time of the month because it's rent time but I had just received an unexpected check for $100 and I really feel like it was meant for her.

She told me she had dementia. She did not want me to call the police so I told her I wouldn't. I kept asking her if she had any friends or relatives. Her husband was dead and she didn't have any children. She had friends in Modesto but not in the San Jose area. Then she told me she had a friend but that it was too far away and she didn't want me to have to drive her that far. When she told me where her friend lived I couldn't believe it...it was just down the street from where we were. I had driven her about 15 - 20 minutes away from where I first found her and now we were near someone she knew.

When I took her to her friend's house no one was home but they had a bench in front of their house and she told me she would sit there, eat the lunch I bought for her and wait for her friend to come home. She assured me that her friend never leaves for long and that she would be home soon. I gave her $20 and left her my business card, my home phone number and told her she could call me if she ever needed help. She gave my a hug goodbye and I left with tears in my eyes! I felt horrible leaving her there but I had to get back to work and she assured me that it was okay.

I went back to work and called the police department of the city I found her in to see if anyone had reported her missing. The police dispatcher said no but didn't bother to take my name or number which I thought was odd. I couldn't stop thinking about her.

When I got home from work last night I called the police department again. The woman questioned me about not calling them when I found her and I felt horrible...maybe I didn't do the right thing? She took my name and number and said she was going to research it more and they would call me if they found out any more information.

I haven't heard from them yet. I'm feeling sick because I really think I should have called the police to help and not just left her at that home. I didn't listen to my intuition ~ I just did what she asked.

Her name is Helen Ruiz and she's from Modesto, California. She told me she was 69 years old but she looked so much older. If by chance someone reads this and knows her I would love to know that she's okay. I really believe that somehow I was guided down the wrong freeway and given that money so I could help her. Isn't that amazing how that happens! I sure hope she's okay. I know I will never forget that day and how good it feels to help someone in need!

Update: I called the Modesto Police Department today and left a message with an investigator there. I haven't heard back from her yet. Another update: I heard back from the investigator and she did a local search and then also did a national search using different ages and there was no one reported missing with her name.

I also got an nice email from someone who reads my blog and lives in Modesto. She is going watch the news and check the newspapers there to see if there are reports of someone missing.

Also, I thought about going back to the house but my friends say I shouldn't. She has my phone number so hopefully she will contact me or if she needs help someone will find my numbers in her purse and contact me.

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I never did hear anything more from her but just knowing I got her out of a busy intersection and bought her food and other things and took her to a friend's home made me feel good.  I'm so glad I didn't do what every other person did at that intersection....NOTHING...which is what I would have done in the past. I don't know what made me step up and do something that day but I'm sure glad I did!
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51 comments:

One Life Many Journeys said...

I don't know if you are a believer or not but that is what some people call the Holy Spirit at work through you. :-)

Lou Cinda said...

God told you to do it...and you listened....So many times we don't...

Good for you...I loved this story...

Lou Cinda

Julie Harward said...

"And in as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethern...ye have done it unto me."
Jesus said that and you did what he asks all of us to do...watch out for and over each of our brothers and sisters while we are here on this earth. God bless you...come say hi :D

The Sewing Loft said...

Thank you for helping that lady. Bless her heart, she must have been scared, terrified, and not knowing what would become of her.

May God Bless You
Barb

Cherie said...

It is the Love of the Lord working through you to help the woman. In the Lords eyes the lesser are the most important. She must have been so very important to our God. What a marvelous thought. And I am certain that He didn't leave her alone after that moment either. Others were sent to help minister to her also, I am certain.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Thank you for helping this lady...I know she must have been very grateful. More people need to take action when they see someone in need. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and I know it was no accident that you got off on the wrong freeway!

GWENDOLYN said...

Cindy,
I think you did all the right things. You did what your heart told you to. And maybe just maybe , it really was an angel in disquise for you.
Blessings!
Gwen
p.s. love the white aprons.

Betty said...

Hi Cindy,
Yes we need to be of service and give back. The more we give the more we receive. Amazing!!! $100.00 just what you needed. Bless you
xoxo

Victoria said...

That is such a nice story, you were her angel for the day!

I was helped once shortly after my divorce, driving to school for a final and going thru the most difficult period in my life. I broke down at a red light in the piece of junk I was driving, nobody wanted to help me but some blue collar guys very reluctantly agreed to push me into a residential neighborhood. He got me thru the red light then a very wacky looking older lady pulled up behind me and told him she would bump me the rest of the way. Sure enough she did, I thanked her profusely and told her I'd walk the rest of the way but she insisted on driving me. She blew my mind with what she knew about me on the way there! She told me that she knew I was going through a trying time but that everything was going to be ok then, when we got to my school she told me she was my angel for the day and that I would always have an angel looking out for me. I have never, ever forgetten her. I can still picture her face in my mind and her blue eyes...I thought it was kind of cool that my angel was an old lady driving a pick up truck and smoking...not the vision I'd previously had of an angel!!! You definitely look more angelic than she did:)

Alaina said...

Wow, your story made me cry. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. What a wonderful thing you did, thank you for sharing your story.

Carolyn said...

Cindy,

I am a believer too and that is truly a classic story of how God designs our meetings for His plan! Thank you for sharing it!

God bless you! ...love your sweet aprons!

Carolyn ~Cottage Sunshine

Marilyn said...

Cindy,

I remember when you first posted this story, and it touches my heart as much now, as it did 2 years ago.

Bless you for stepping up and helping this woman in her time of need.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

ROSE VINE COTTAGE said...

What a nice thing to do Cindy, but I'm wondering why you don't want to go back to the house where you dropped her off and find out if she made it into their house or somewhere safely? Nothing against your friends I'm sure they mean well but they probably wouldn't have parked their cars and helped her either. I know it would bother me to not find out if she is ok.
I wouldnt go to the house by myself, take a male friend with you but I would go.
Hugs~Kelly

BellaRosa said...

Cindy amor, I read this and the tears are just running...I lost my Ita at age 93, she was the light of my life and to think of her or another of that age being in that situation breaks my heart...I am ALWAYS nice to older people, if they need help I offer it, I complement them, I smile at them and I LOVE when they smile back...because it is soo genuine...I don't remember ever reading this post, but I am so glad that you are resharing it...you are a love and that day...you were her saving grace...Thank you, because I know at sometimes...she was someones most loved "Ita" (grandma) Besos & hugs to you! Rose

Donna said...

Wow, it's so nice to hear someone following the Golden Rule! What a beautiful thing to do; think with your heart first, then your head. I beleive in karma too, you get back what you give. Sounds like you have some good coming! Donna

tina, theoldfrenchdoors... said...

Im sad and uplifted all at the same time. She was so lucky to have you there at that moment, IT WAS MENT TO BE. Its sad in this day and age there really isnt more people like you that would offer there assistance, Alot would see her as a silly old lady holding up the traffic, but in fact dont no her circumstance and what lead her there and as she crossed she had a tear in her eye.. Hats off to you cindy.

Sandra said...

It is often through the help of others that Heavenly Father meets our needs. She needed help and you were inspired to assist her. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that was over two years ago!!!! We don't have to travel to distant places to find those that can use a helping hand. The story is still so touching. Any of us could end up being this poor woman some day. I hope we have angels when we'll need them too.
Kathy

Olga said...

Cindy, God bless you for your kindness.

Paula said...

Cindy, first..thanks for posting this again, for us newbies! second...there a very special place in heaven for people like you! I can only pray I'll be sitting next to you:)

kim said...

Cindy, what a wonderful story. I do believe you were put there at that time for a reason. I am so glad you reposted this.

Cindy said...

Thank God you are a woman with a heart, the world needs more people like you, Cindy. Hugs, Cindy S

Rosie@Journey to Charm said...

That is such a touching story. There you were, a single mom trying to support your kids, late for work, and you take the risk of getting in trouble or lose your job to help someone else in need. That lady met her angel in you. A few months ago I was in a Goodwill. It was a long line. I was next to be checked out. A very elderly man way behind me in line dropped his coins from his coin purse and money went rolling all over. No one moved. I got out of line, got on the floor and gathered it all up for him. I knew I lost my place, but I didn't care. I felt so bad for him. After I gathered all his money for him, I turned back towards the register, and the cashier made everyone wait for me to finish, so she could check me out first. I was shocked that no one else was helping. I don't understand the coldness in people's hearts. It was such a little thing. Bless your heart.

Doni said...

Cindy, wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, and may we all remember that we may be entertaining angels unaware! They may look like a child, an elderly lady, or a beggar, but still, possibilities are all around us to do good!
Doni

Susan said...

Cindy! What a beautiful thing you did for that little lady. Have you ever thought that you may have been entertaining an angel unaware!! God works in mysterious ways.
Susan

suzyq said...

Cindy, I just hope that when I am a little old lady in need of help there is someone like you around.
Hugs to you,
Suzyq

Gee said...

Hi Cindy,

To me, im happy that you have helped her. God has make you wanted to help her despite of reporting the situation to the police. I hope she is fine and you have no regrets in helping her.

Linda K. said...

Cindy,
This is my favorite post of all the ones I have read in blogging. Aside from crafting, creating, decorating, food and the like this one grabbed my heart. My mother is 80, and my dad is still alive. Mom has some degree of dementia and if she were in a situation such as this one, I would be thankful and elated that someone like you would have stopped and helped her. You did what you could. The Good Samaritan, Cindy! I cried and thank you for reminding all of us to be conscientous of others. Even when we are in a hurry. Thank you so much for sharing and blessing us with such a heart warming story. Most of all bless you really really good, dear lady. I love old people and have to remind myself not to be impatient with them in public. Our country would be better if we respected them more.
Hugs,
Linda

Tanya said...

Cindy, I have a similar story. I helped an older woman that was trying to cross a very busy street. I ran over to her and drove her to her car and got my friends to give her a jump start. She was in her 70s and was very distressed about her adult son that had cancer. I offered to pray with her and we just spent a few minutes together in my car while my friends jumped her car. I gave her my number and my kids and I even went and had lunch at her little duplex. She is a painter and gave my daughter a painting of a ballerina dancer. I didn't hear from her for a long while when I got an unexpected phone call. She called to tell me that her son was free of cancer! She told me that the day that I ran up to her and put my arm around her and prayed with her, she knew everything was going to be alright. It's an exciting thing to be used by our loving Creator to express his love to the most helpless of us. I'm sure that your compassion that day made a world of difference to the elderly lady. I'm glad you did something even though you were busy. It's these small kindnesses that matter. Sorry this was so long!

Lisa said...

What a great story! Good for you for helping. You have to do what you can sometimes.
Hugs, Lisa

Dreaming In Pink With Roses said...

Hi Cindy! What a very touching story! You have such a kind & caring heart Cindy! This Bible verse popped into my head as I was reading your story..

1Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 1-2

Big Hugs & Blessings to you always ~ Teresa

Elsie said...

Yes Cindy I do remember that story and I am really glad you helped her. Things happen for a reason,
so don't question why you did what
you did. It always comes back to
you ten fold.:O)

Michele said...

This is such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it again as it's a good reminder to everyone to help others whenever we can.

Hugs!!
Michele R.(CA)
Luvkittysmeowmail at Gmail dot com
Butterfly Whispers

Lia at Petite Little Bee said...

This is such a beautiful story. How everything was there so that you were able to be an angel to this little lady. You did exactly what God wanted you to do and I am sure He took over from there. She is safe because of you.

Beverly @ My Sew Sweet Studio said...

What an uplifting story Cindy. It is a good lesson for all of us, to follow our heart and help someone in need. I think things are so weird in this world, that we (I) hesitate to help out of fear. When God is involved, it is right and I believe he was right there beside you and that women who needed your help.

afistfullofweeds* said...

No one else helped, because they were not supposed to. You were angels to each other. It was supposed to happen the way it did! Cool Huh??? Rhonda

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

Wow! I really don't know what to say. May God bless you for helping her.

T's Daily Treasures said...

What a beautiful story! So wonderful that you were able to help someone in need without ever expecting anything in return. That is truly giving of yourself unselfishly. I don't understand why there are so many who don't or won't help. So many instances where it would only take a moment to make a difference. You certainly did more than that. It is a shame you never found out what happened, but I guess that part of the story wasn't for you to know. You did what God led you to do. You listened to your heart and made a difference. God bless, Tammy

Debra@Common Ground said...

Bless you Cindy, you were an angel to do that! You have such a loving caring heart.
hugs,
Debra

KATHY said...

Hi Cindy, great story!! You have a good heart. I have been trying to put you on my sidebar for two days now, but your blog won't come up...Kathy

KATHY said...

Hi again cindy, i finally got you on my sidebar!!Your the one who gives me the most inspiration...Kathy

Sarah said...

Cindy, this is a touching story. It was brave of you to help this lady. I'm sure your kindness was appreciated more than you will ever know. Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story. I've shared a story of another kind today. I think it too is heartwarming. I plan to link it to your meme for tomorrow. Thank you for hosting Show and Tell Fridays.

Lenore said...

I've been following your blog for awhile Cindy, but haven't read this post before.
You did a wonderful thing for that lady.....in today's climate most people would be afraid this was a scam or worse. I'm glad that you and she are okay.
I just read an e-mail about scammers putting a doll that looks like a baby in a car seat beside the road...usually near a wooded area, waiting for a woman to stop and then they rape her (or worse) and take her vehicle. I say just be careful who you try to help....use your cell phone when in doubt and don't get out of your car.

Kate said...

What a wonderful story! It's amazing how God orchestrates events and positions us to help others.
Blessings,
Kate

Sharon said...

Cindy, you are an angel. Not many people would do what you did and I'm glad you did. You see, I'm married, but I have no children. We never know what the future will bring, but many times I have seen myself in her shoes and I hope that if I am, someone like you will come along and help me the way you helped her.

tammy said...

Thank you for sharing this story again because I was not a reader of your blog the first time you posted it. It will also make me think twice next time I walk or drive past someone who looks like they may need help. What a blessing you are! xo

Mariette said...

Nice story and especially for reading it past Good Friday... Good to know there are still lots of people out there with a BIG and warm heart. Thanks for sharing this with us and wishing you a very blessed Easter weekend in many ways!
Love from Georgia,

Beth said...

Inspirational - thanks for sharing and Happy Easter to you!

sashagirl said...

Oh Cindy, I'm sitting here with tears running down my face as I type. You are such a sweet soul to have stopped with your day and helped this poor, defenseless woman. I wish more people would reach out to their fellow man/woman! I truly believe, as many others have said, that God did indeed work through you on this day. With YOU being the only one who helped her and also that you took the wrong exit AND that you just happened to have a bit extra money on this day...YOU were this lady's angel walking here on earth!!! I'm so glad you helped her. Even though she was the one who needed help on this day, I believe you are the one who was blessed more! Thank you for stepping up and doing the right thing!!! I bet your story will touch many others and make them think twice when they see someone in need!
I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Easter!!!
(((hugs)))
Milli (sashagirl on flickr)

Farm Fresh Maiden said...

Bless you for this! It has been said, "Who knows, but sometimes we may entertain angels, unawares?" I believe you were an "angel" to that woman. When I hear stories like this one, I think of members of my own family (my mom, aunt, daughter) who I hope would be treated with such care and concern, were they ever so lost. Again, bless you!

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

It warms my heart to read this story.You did the right thing. My friends think I'm weird because I get involved when I see things like that...but I don't care. It's the right thing to do.

Good for you!
xxx