Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

NO RECOLLECTION OF HER ACCIDENT, JUST THE MEMORY OF KINDNESS

These lovely June mornings remind me that a year ago, I was biking to work along the back streets of Shadyside when I found myself face down on the pavement.

What had happened? I dragged my bike to the curb and sat next to it. Although I had biked this route hundreds of times and knew every dip and pothole, every house and tree, I had no idea where I was or how I had gotten there. I dimly realized I wouldn't be going to work that day after all. I must have fished my phone from my purse, because I was staring at it, struggling to recall my home number. I didn't yet know that half my face had been scraped off, much less that I had suffered a wicked concussion.

A row of snouts loomed into view, and beyond them, pairs of eyes that regarded me inquisitively. Dogs. Polite, sensitive dogs. I sat stunned on the curb, their noses at my level. Soon their faces were joined by that of a human, their walker, who knelt beside me. You had a bike accident, she explained. You look like you need to go to the emergency room. I am going to call my friend. She has a large vehicle.

Soon a black SUV pulled up, and a second woman sat next to me. She gently offered to take me and my bike to the ER. Even in my dazed state, I knew I could trust her. I handed over my purse, a datebook that had my home number in it, my phone and my keys. She called my family, stowed my bike in her car, and guided me to the passenger seat. She drove to the ER, secured my bike to a rack, saw me settled in the waiting room with my personal effects back in my possession, and went on her way.

This kind woman even called my home a few days later to see if I was OK. I wasn't yet; recovery would take months. A concussion can wipe out memory, so I would never recall how I'd ended up on the pavement that June morning. But I did know that these women's caretaking had saved me from further injury. They had interrupted their own lives to help a total stranger. …

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