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August 12, 2012 / angelavbolton

The Kindness of Strangers


The positivity around Bob continues to gather momentum. If I was a more sceptical person I may not see how our vulnerability has elicited deep kindness from people, obviously people who are already good but who respond to the intrinsic need they see in me, possibly.

Some time ago I contacted the Irish Wheelchair Association about wheelchair-friendly accommodation, and got a response from a lady there who called me (months later) about a possible vacancy in a purpose-built apartment in Meath. She didn’t forget about us and her kindness boded well for the rest of this story.

On the day I was to look at the property, I visited Bob in the morning as usual, cycling in so I could cycle home that evening after my second visit. I then got a taxi outside St James’s (SJH) to take me to Busaras. The taxi driver ~ a guitarist, as it turned out ~ offered to take me to Meath so off we went. He and I chatted on the way and by the time we reached our destination he had offered his assistance in organising the Benefit Night (he knows people), an item for auction at the Benefit Night (an autograph of a very famous person), and the use of a house he has in the country which is wheelchair-accessible ‘when yourself and Robert are ready for a break’. I couldn’t speak. He continued: ‘I was brought up in the Buddhist tradition’, as I hung my head so that he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes; ‘we should all try to help each-other.’ This man didn’t even know Bob, or me, and yet here he was trying to think of ways he could help us.

Bob playing piano somewhere, sometime, with Shay Ledwidge on harp

I arrived in Meath safe and sound thanks to him, and phoned the gentleman who was going to show me around the purpose-built apartment. He said he’d be there in five minutes.

Not only did he pick me up and drive me to the apartment but he spent a good chunk of his day showing me around the place, explaining the way the property worked and how it had come about, and giving me advice on what Bob and I would need for our future accommodation. Then he drove me back to where I could get a bus.

I’m not counting any chickens at all insofar as the apartment is concerned – and it is wonderful – but the genuine kindness of the three people who helped in one way or another during my visit to see it was beyond what could be expected and I’m truly grateful to them.

The trip back to Bob in SJH was spent in a bit of a daze at this realisation. It gives me hope and I wonder how I didn’t come across this before? Possibly I wasn’t interacting with people in this way, but now our need is visible and people have responded incredibly.

A friend of mine believes in asking the universe for what you need, saying that if you don’t ask you won’t get, so I’ve been asking. And maybe she’s right. That’s why I set up the sponsorship page (got a lot of help organising that from two people – I include them in this appreciation) and we’ve raised a good few quid already so thank you to those advisors and sponsors.

If you believe in karma, then we can give it that name; it might be ‘what goes around comes around’; it might be anything, but I believe there’s an awful lot of goodness out there and myself and Bob have been the recipients of lots of it. Thank you.


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