I am thankful to the lady who works at Colonial Beer Distribution in Bethel Park.
There are moments in life -- even as I cling to the relics of youth but strive toward the liberty of adulthood -- when all you want is your mom. When I went into the beer store the morning of July 4, I knew I didn't feel right. I was telling myself to snap out of it and to focus as my vision faded to white; next thing I knew, I was sitting on a case of water bottles on the verge of unconsciousness.
I do not remember the name of the woman there who helped me, but I will always remember her. Of course she felt it was her duty as a mother to comfort me, but it was not.
Not everyone would have done that -- taken a half hour out of their shift just to be there for someone else.
I want her to know how thankful I am for the attentiveness shown to me that morning. It wasn't medical care, but her being next to me, putting cold water on my neck and talking me through each step to feeling stronger was exactly what I needed during an "I want my mom" moment.
My mom always talks about a mother's intuition, and it's something we kids don't appreciate enough. This kind woman's intuition comforted me that day. I know my mom is thankful, too, for someone stepping in when she could not.
Although I hope not to encounter anyone feeling so ill, I will know whose kindness to emulate.
A few weekends ago, my 5-year-old granddaughter and I decided to escape the scorching heat and head out to Mineral Beach for some fun in the sun.
After a long, leisurely day of floating on our rafts and enjoying fries and sno-cones, we gathered up all our gear and schlepped out to the car, which was parked in the very last spot on the grassy area. We had rafts, beach chairs, towels, bags and toys galore.
The car was like an oven and I was rushing to get everything loaded, including my granddaughter, so I could crank up the AC. Laughing and singing on the way home, we reached the final stretch of our journey, when we realized much to our horror that my bag was missing.
I must have left it in the parking area and now faced a 30-minute frantic ride back to Mineral Beach. I was taking a road trip in two days, and my wallet with credit cards and license, cell phone, Kindle and loads of other items were in the missing bag. Aagghhh!
We cried and prayed all the way back to the pool. As we pulled into the lot, there was no bag where I would have left it. More wailing!
I rolled slowly up to the cashier's window and my granddaughter said, "I'll wait here while you get the bad news, GiGi." I ran to the window, and as soon as I blurted, "Excuse me, I left my bag in the --" the owner said "Yes, you did, and here it is."
What a relief! Everything was intact and my faith in humanity restored. A million and one thank yous to the sweet and honest soul who retrieved my bag and turned it in. I intend to pay that act of kindness forward at every opportunity.
Recently, while driving on a rural road near Hickory, I developed a flat tire. A gravel entrance to a Range Resources drilling site provided a place to change the tire.
As I was getting out the spare tire and related hardware, a young man in a red pickup truck on his way to work there stopped to ask if I needed help. After hearing my situation, he proceeded to change the tire. He would not accept money for his time and good deed.
He was polite and kind to do this for me. I learned that he is a native Pittsburgher, which explains his kindness and helpfulness.
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.