Early in the morning on May 31 -- the day of our 50th wedding anniversary -- my wife Dorothy and I got in her car and drove to UPMC St. Margaret in Aspinwall in order for me to have an outpatient surgical procedure performed. Although it was a special anniversary for us, there was no delaying what had to be done.
We went into the hospital and two lovely ladies at the registration desk took the information needed. During the course of conversation, it came out that my wife and I were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary by having a kidney stone removed from my left kidney, by means of a lithotripsy machine. They commiserated with us.
We were taken to the outpatient surgical care area to wait for the surgery for about an hour. Minutes before I was wheeled into surgery, however, the two angels from the registration desk appeared with a "Happy 50th Anniversary" card signed by everyone in the outpatient surgical care unit. They also provided two pieces of cake for us to have for dessert that evening to celebrate our anniversary.
Then, to top it off, after I was wheeled back to the recovery area following surgery, another angel appeared and handed Dorothy a rose in a glass bud holder with a "Happy Anniversary" card from the operating room staff.
There is no way my wife and I can adequately express the warmth we felt from what these wonderful people did for us. We both agreed that it had a lot to do with the fact that it's Western Pennsylvania, and most folks from around here are like this.
To the nurses, doctors, aides and everyone else involved, thank you -- it was the nicest anniversary present we could imagine.
Recently my car broke down at midnight on a dark and unlit section of Route 65, blocking a part of the right lane.
I called my road club and was told I would have a 40-minute wait. I called the police and asked if an officer could come and wait with me until my tow arrived since I was in a traffic lane. A wonderful officer came to assist me, and when he received another call, he put flares behind my car and left.
Two hours later and after many calls to my road club, I was still waiting when this fellow in a pickup truck pulled over, got out and asked if there was anything he could do. He said that he had passed me an hour before, and when he saw that I was still waiting, decided to stop.
I am sorry to say that this just does not seem to happen anymore. Fear or apathy prevents many of us from stopping to help a stranded motorist, and during the four hours I was on this road, Jesse was the only one who stopped!
Jesse checked under the hood. He could find no apparent problem, but he insisted that he wait with me until the tow truck came.
In a nightmare of circumstances, my auto club did not pick me up until after 4 a.m. When the fourth set of flares set up by the Sewickley policeman died out, a tractor-trailer driver did not seem to see my car and was headed right toward us. At the very last minute, the truck swerved into the next lane, missing my car by inches. Jesse and I could have been killed.
My Good Samaritan still refused to leave me alone on the side of the road. When the tow truck came, Jesse assisted the driver in getting my car on the flatbed before he gave me a hug, waved and went on his way. He had stayed with me for 21/2 hours!
I am usually very good about getting names and numbers, but in the flurry of getting my car off of the road, I did not even ask Jesse for his last name or phone number. I have no way to reach him and let him know what an angel he was, and what it meant to me to have someone take a chance to help another in such a big way.
I am hoping that Jesse will read this in the paper, or if someone else recognizes him -- he is 47, has two children and works hauling trucks at or near Penn State -- could you please thank him again for me, and tell him that I will pay forward his kindness in as big a way as he did.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to email@example.com, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.