A dismal dawn

It was a miserable Monday morning. Frozen fog clung to every branch and blade of grass, the temperature was well below zero and I had to be out early with the car.

The garage is just two miles from my home in normal circumstances, but the construction work for the new high speed railway line has made it into a five mile hike. The garage will normally run me home when I drop the car in to them for its MOT, but they are short staffed. The one bus of  the morning had just gone by the time I have negotiated the road closures and diversions and, to make matters worse, I could not make myself understood over the phone to the taxi company.

Shouting might have enabled them to hear me… but the pitiful croak that was all my voice could muster was not going to be able to maintain that volume for more than a few words. And then they hung up anyway.

I was cold, damp and shivering… I needed to get home and into the warm. I called my son, well used to the vagaries of my squeaky voice, and asked him to order me a taxi. He called back a few minutes later to tell me the two mile trip would cost me fifteen pounds… oh, the joys of living in a village… it couldn’t get much worse…

“Can I give you a lift?” said a voice out of nowhere. A runner of a similar age to myself was breathing great clouds of steam into the air. “I couldn’t help overhearing. Where are you going?” I told her, and loved the order in which she had asked the questions. She nodded at the oxygen tank on my back. “Are you in treatment?” I told her it was lung cancer… the one reason I could not just walk home. “My car is at the other end of the village, “ she said, weighing up the hill I would have to climb to accompany her, “wait here and I’ll be right back.”

How kind, I thought as I waited, little realising that she was not just parked at the other end of the village, she had actually run to get her car out of the garage, especially to take me home.

As we drove, she quizzed me about the prognosis and treatment and told me all about her friend who had also been diagnosed with incurable cancer, but who, with treatment similar to mine, has been healthy for years. It did not matter that every case is different, that the treatment and our response to it varies, what mattered was her kindness as she spoke with a certain amount of knowledge, reassuring without promising, adding a little hope to an otherwise dismal day.

Although the sun has not pierced the fog today, although the chill has lingered and has refused to be chased away, a little touch of kindness brought light and warmth to the morning. It takes very little sometimes to turn the day around, no matter how dull or how dismally it begins.

47 thoughts on “A dismal dawn

      1. It is a great reminder that what we think of as a small act of kindness can change another person’s world.

        In the past, I’ve had people tell me about something I did to help him/her or a loved one. Many times I didn’t remember it, and simply smiled while the person recited the “something” back to me in great detail years later. Usually, my reply would be along the lines of, “I’m happy I could help,” because I was so ashamed that I still didn’t remember doing it.

        It seemed like such a small thing — though the right thing — to do at the time.

        I wonder if there are bonus points for acts of kindness we do without remembering,
        I’m positive you have many more of those in your hearts treasure chest than I. 💜

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The small acts that we do out of unconscious or spontaneous kindness and then forget must, I believe, count for something, because they are the nes that can change everything for another person… and have been done with no thought for self. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Oh my gosh! What in the world is the sense of a garage if it’s even 2 miles away?? Especially when you are carrying oxygen and weak with cancer. This sounds like a dystopian world to me, and I find it ever so sad that this is your reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The kindness of strangers , an angel in human form call her what you will. I am astounded that short staffed or not the garage left you stranded. Are they blind? The taxi firm hung up …wanted stupid money. The milk of human kindness these days is in short supply…. Thank goodness for the runner, she is the cream . 💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The garage can’t leave the business unattended and covid has done a lot of damage there. They probably didn’t even realise I was stranded. They are bringing the car to me later, though all being well.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers. These small acts of kindness make up for all the sh*t in this world. I loved reading this and am so glad she showed up when you needed her. xo

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  4. Little did I know when you mentioned you had to drop your car off for repairs that this had happened! My own thanks to that lovely runner and her kindness. What an adventure, but some reassuring words along with it. God does give us little miracles.

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  5. Wow Sue. I was feeling your dread when the angel appeared to give you a life – in more ways than one. A beautiful ending to a dismal day. And that photo could be a backdrop for an old Jane Eyre story, lol 🙂 Hugs xx

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