Caught in the frigid fingers of winter’s chill, I find myself burrowing under the covers to warm the aching bones. I sneak a hand out to reach the phone, remote control or the laptop perched next to my pillow and I’m so much luckier than those who are shoveling and chopping their way out every day to go to work or school. I’m thankful for the chance to wait out most of Mother Nature’s fury from the comfort of my room.
I did venture out the other day to go to a free movie at the school with my nieces and while it wasn’t snowing, the ice and accumulation makes it really difficult to get around with the walker. I watched the evening news yesterday and saw a young man trying to roll his wheelchair several blocks from the city bus to his destination. The sidewalks are buried and he was forced to maneuver in the street full of inches of slush and ice. My heart ached for him because I know how challenging getting around in a wheelchair can be when you are flying solo. I don’t face a fraction of the challenges that he does but I can empathize with him and every other person who tries to stay upright in the ice and snow without full mobility and agility. Of course, he’s a Buffalo boy and we grow ‘em tough! I pray he’ll have much easier going for the rest of the winter. It was one of those gentle reminders that no matter how tough I may find my life on any given day, there are people everywhere with much greater problems.
Locally, a plow driver on his way home saw a car stuck in a drift and saw smoke coming out from under the hood. He and another passer-by managed to pull a 96 year-old man from the driver’s seat before the engine fire fully engulfed the car. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Those helpers didn’t care how bitter cold and nasty it was- they responded instinctively and bravely.
Sadly, a 42 year old man who was hit by a snowplow last week passed away. He was walking to a work site before 5 a.m. to check in for daily work. The plow driver left the scene and when the police caught up with him he was charged with being drunk; such a tragedy. But, out of misery comes goodness, and his family donated his organs to help others get another chance at life as a tribute to the kind and loving person they grieve for.
The whole point of this is that even in the coldest, darkest places there are rays of light. The best in mankind comes out in the worst of conditions. Whether it is someone shoveling snow or running errands for an elderly neighbor, or emergency responders braving the elements in emergencies, we as a people are strengthened by adversity.
Yes, it’s pretty cold out there but our humanity keeps us warm inside!