During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was 14 years old and in the hospital, having had surgery to remove torn cartilage from my knee. It was not a same-day or overnight hospital visit 50 years ago, like it might be today, but entailed almost 10 days. I got to know the nurses pretty well and they got to know me.
When the TV had coverage of the missile crisis, the woman in the next bed constantly predicted doom and gloom. She was almost hysterical most of the time.
One of the nurses, Tallye, took pity on me. She thought I was too young to put up with that, and she moved me into an empty room.
Tallye did not abandon me after she changed my room. She would drop in to let me know she was on duty and that she wanted to see how I was doing. She would ask if I needed anything and would let me know when she was finished for the day. She brought me snacks and pop and lots of good conversation.
The day before I went home was Tallye's last day at work for the week. She stopped in to say goodbye, but I was napping -- considerate as always, she didn't want to awaken me. How do I know? She left me the loveliest note, a note I cherish even today, 50 years later.
I always regretted that I never got to say goodbye and thank you.
Her acts of kindness made a very difficult time much easier and will never be forgotten. With the anniversary of the missile crisis, I wanted Tallye to know I was thinking of her, as I have done every October since 1962.
My brother and I took a friend to lunch at Dick's Diner in Murrysville.
The waitress took us to a booth where another customer had been seated but was away from the table. He returned just as we were sitting down and joked and made light of us trying to take his seat.
From the next table, he and my brother then engaged in friendly conversation, while noting our friend's battle with cancer. As our food arrived, he left his table but returned to say goodbye.
Once we finished our lunch, too full for dessert, the waitress informed us that the gentleman whose company we had enjoyed had paid for our meal, with tip included. His name was Anthony, a food sales rep. If he reads this note, we want to thank him so much for his unexpected generosity, charm, kindness and pleasant company.
This was the second act of kindness I've received in a year's time. There are many angels walking among us.
I went shopping on Sept. 25 at our local Shop & Save in Kennedy. As I entered the store a clerk asked if I needed a small cart, and I said OK.
As I was ready to enter the main store, I changed my mind and got a larger cart while pushing the small cart back in its place. I got as far as the vegetable aisle about five minutes later and thought I'd better get my list out of my purse, but the purse wasn't there. I had left it in the small cart. I ran to retrieve it, but it was gone.
I want to thank the woman who found the purse in the cart and gave it to the manager. I learned a lesson not to put the purse in the cart, but keep it on my arm.
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.