Author Topic: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done  (Read 2046 times)

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CakeEater

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SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« on: February 03, 2013, 04:17:18 AM »
I didn't have compliment to relay either, but I do remember at time a stranger was a real help and comfort.

DD was two and having a massive meltdown in the grocery shop, a packet of pasta in my trolley split open and spilled all over the floor, DD's nappy that I'd put on fresh just before we left home had a major leak, the baby in the baby seat was starting to cry and I had half my groceries through the checkout, and no idea how to get the rest through while dealing with all of the above.

A lady I knew actually ended up stopping and putting through the rest of the groceries, an employee came and was very kind about helping me clean up the mess, and a third woman who was a complete stranger came up to me while I was trying to get the wet nappy off and handed me the plastic bag, helped me get the nappy bag back into the trolley while I wrestled the toddler, and said, "Don't feel bad - I've been in that exact position."

I was so grateful for all three ladies, but I was so impressed that a complete stranger came and helped and tried to make me feel better.

oogyda

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 08:08:12 AM »
There are a couple instances that come to mind, but this is the most recent. 

My mom visited from across the country over Thanksgiving.  She's frail and has cerebal palsey and is at the point in her life where she has started to ask for help.  She boarded first with others who needed assistance. As I watched her walk down the jetway, tears started welling.  When I turned around the woman standing at the front of the first class/premier membership line quietly asked "Is that your mother?"  I nodded.  She lightly touched my arm and said "It's always hard."

Just a little thing that helped a great deal.
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CakeBeret

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 10:13:08 AM »
My mother was verbally abusive when I was a child. Once when I was about 10, we were at a gas station and I was supposed to pump the gas and then pay. I don't remember what happened, but I messed up somehow and my mother screamed at me. I went inside to pay, and there were a few customers inside who had obviously overheard. I was sniffling and holding back tears and avoiding everyone's gaze when a kind man said to me, "I'm sorry you have to deal with that. It's gonna be okay." Just a few kind words gave me a lot of strength.
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guihong

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 10:56:39 AM »
When DD was only about six weeks old or so, we drove from Columbus to West Virginia to visit DH's grandmother.   About halfway, we stopped for lunch and I took DD to the ladies' room to change her.  When I got the diaper off, she blew out an enormous mess, all over herself, the table, the walls, and the floor  :P.   A woman who was washing her hands took DD (with my permission) and began washing her off in the sink.  Another woman out of nowhere helped me rinse my shirt.  When DD was finally cleaned up, changed and dressed in new clothes, the three of us finished cleaning the bathroom (DD was in her seat out of the way).   I think every new mother has been there  ::).



Bethczar

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 12:47:01 PM »
One evening when I was 16, I fainted at church. It had been a hot sticky days, the church had no air conditioning, and the priest had decided to expand the mass to almost 2 hours. (He caught hell for that later!) My mother made me lie down on the pew. Of course, being 16, I was absolutely humiliated, even though my faint had not been very noticable.

As we were leaving after mass, a handsome, 20-some year old man asked me if I was all right. He told me that he was in the Army, and that one time he had been picked to be in the color guard for parade. Unfortunately, halfway through the parade, the heat got the best of him and he passed out midstep. He assured me that I shouldn't be embarrassed.

It was just a quick, casual exchange, but I felt so much better for his kindness.

Just Lori

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 01:11:01 PM »
This is such a little thing, but over the holidays we went out to dinner with my parents and brother's family.  My mom has extremely limited mobility.  She walks with a walker, but she can't get far.  We made it inside and discover that the place was packed.  Mom propped herself up against the wall and I started to look around for a chair so she could sit. A young girl of about 10 came over and offered my mom a place on a nearby bench.  I was so grateful to that wonderful young lady.


siamesecat2965

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 05:45:10 PM »
I was flying from NJ to N. California for a friend's wedding. My flight from NJ to SF was fine, but it had snowed in N. Cal, so my flight up was delayed. So since I had time, I went and ate. A burger and fries. bad idea. The flight up, while short, was bumpy, and I got sick. Not sure why as I don't normally get airsick, so I guess the combo of food and turbulence. there was an older lady sitting next to me who rubbed my back, and turned the cool air on me as I puked. And then flagged down the flight attendant to get me some water.  Once I was done, I was fine, but it did make me feel better.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 06:24:44 PM »
I was flying from NJ to N. California for a friend's wedding. My flight from NJ to SF was fine, but it had snowed in N. Cal, so my flight up was delayed. So since I had time, I went and ate. A burger and fries. bad idea. The flight up, while short, was bumpy, and I got sick. Not sure why as I don't normally get airsick, so I guess the combo of food and turbulence. there was an older lady sitting next to me who rubbed my back, and turned the cool air on me as I puked. And then flagged down the flight attendant to get me some water.  Once I was done, I was fine, but it did make me feel better.

My first flight by myself - I was in my 30's, believe it or not - was an extremely turbulent flight.  One of the flight attendants told me that it was one of the worst flights she'd ever been on.  When the inevitable happened, the lady beside me, who spoke very little English, rubbed my back for several minutes.  It got to the point that the flight attendants were letting me ignore the seat belt sign.  A couple rows behind me was a lady who was panicking.  Her seatmates talked to her calmly, held her hands, let her cry on their shoulders.  We shared a smile of commiseration as we deplaned.
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JenJay

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 06:53:25 PM »
When I was in 4th grade I started coming down with something (it ended up being the flu) about 3/4 of the way through the day. I knew it would take a while for my Mom to get off work and come pick me up, and I wasn't feeling too bad, so I decided to stick it out. On the way home I vomited on myself while riding the bus :(. My brother had been sitting next to me and when he realized what happened he bolted. A high school aged girl quickly grabbed a garbage bag from the bus driver and came to sit next to me, reassuring me that it was okay. She was so sweet!

I was out of school for 2 weeks and when I finally returned I was terrified that I'd be teased. I walked into class, a boy approached me and said "Hey, are you the girl that puked on the bus?" I thought the teasing was about to begin but instead he gave me a huge smile and said "That was so cool!!" LOL

One evening I was driving in bumper to bumper traffic through a work zone. We weren't going very fast but it was stop and go. The car in front of me braked suddenly, I braked and checked my mirror and discovered a car coming up fast. I knew she was going to hit me so I let off my brake and rolled forward. I honestly can't remember if she hit me and pushed me into the man in front of me or if I hit him outright, but I definitely rear-ended him. We pulled off to the side as much as possible and checked our bumpers while he assured me that he didn't need my info because his car was fine. Unfortunately my bumper had popped off on one side and it was hanging on the ground. That man, the man I had hit, got a rope out of his trunk, knelt on the side of the road in a nice suit, and tied up my bumper for me. All I could do is thank him repeatedly.

shadowfox79

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 07:54:01 AM »
A couple of weekends ago DH and I drove down to visit my mother and take her Christmas presents, since she had had norovirus over Christmas so we hadn't been able to go then.

It had been snowing heavily and Mum lives on an access-only road in a suburban area, so it was tough going. I managed to get the car stuck in the middle of the road right outside her house. No amount of pushing from DH would shift it, and another car had driven up behind me and was waiting to get past.

I was just starting to get stressed out when a man came over from a side street and offered to help push. Unfortunately I was so firmly stuck that even with two men pushing the car wouldn't move. DH ran up to my mother's to get her snow shovel, and much to our amazement the other man disappeared and came back with his own! Together they not only dug out my car but also dug out a space at the side of the road for me to drive into.

I don't know who he was, but I thanked him profusely.

suzieQ

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 08:56:36 AM »
Our first Sunday back in church after J was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes was traumatic. They had doughnuts. J had been diagnosed for all of six days, I had been responsible for keeping him alive for all of three days (we stayed in the hospital for three days) and I had no idea of how many carbs were in a doughnut. I was still a wreck, coming to terms with giving him enough insulin to keep him alive and not enough to kill him.

J saw the doughnuts and told me "Mom, I'm going to get a doughnut." For an instant, he forgot he was now diabetic. And for an instant, I forgot too, and said "Ok."

Then I realized and I had to stop him and tell him he couldn't have one. He cried. I cried. I sat there and cried through the whole service.

A very nice man (stranger) came up and offered to pray for us. He didn't ask what was wrong, he just rubbed my back and prayed for us. It was very sweet and remembering his kindness even now gives me a warm feeling.
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Winterlight

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 10:48:34 AM »
I had a migraine which triggered an asthma attack while I was driving a friend home. (She was visually impaired and couldn't drive at all then.) I pulled off the road and in a state of confusion got out of the car and walked across the road, collapsing on the center line. Did I mention this was a highway with cars going 60-70mph?

Luckily there was a road crew nearby who saw this. One went to redirect traffic, someone else helped me up and into the shade, then they drove us home. I've never forgotten their kindness.
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RebeccainGA

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 10:51:40 AM »
My first heavy winter in Arkansas, we got a lot of snow and ice. After two days in the house, I HAD to get out - needed essential groceries, and was going to have to go to work the next day. The roads had been plowed, except for the little ones, and since I was half a block from the main road, I figured I'd chance it. Got the van stuck in some slush halfway into the street and couldn't get traction. Was panicking - until a total stranger in a huge pickup pulled up, tied a rope to the van, pulled it the rest of the way into the street, made me pull up a few feet to make sure all was in working order, and took off with a smile. Was so grateful.

Also, as a young adult (first real job) had just gone to get my nails done with a coworker, and was on my way to work. I was driving on a section of road where two lanes merged to one, and there was a lot of industrial traffic. I felt a pop, and my left rear tire blew. I slowed down, stopped just as the lanes converged (was in the last ten feet of the lane that was disappearing). Coworker called and got our boss to come get her (!) and left me all by myself, with damp nails and in work clothes (nice skirt and heels) on the side of the road with a flat. As I am trying to get the stuff out to change the tire, an old truck driven by an older man and his grandson (kid was maybe 5) with fishing poles hanging out of the window pulls up behind me. The driver helps me lift the spare out, and then insists I go back with his grandson and get out of the road. He changes the tire, follows me to a gas station to inflate the spare (which was very low on air) and even gave me the money for the tire pump, since I had no change on me. I still think of that man every time I look in my trunk and notice the spare tire - I felt like I'd had a guardian angel visit me.

joraemi

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 11:35:45 AM »
I don't know if this falls under "comforting" but I thought it was nice and I never forgot it.

It was about 18 years ago and I was pregnant out to there with my first baby.  I went to the florist's counter in the grocery to buy myself a pretty bouguet of something for the table because I was *out to there* pregnant, dangit!

  There was a customer in front of me buying flowers for his wife to be sent to her office.  He completed his order and asked me what I was buying - I told him I was getting myself some flowers for the table.  He left.  The cashier proceeded to tell me that this young man (probably late 20's) comes in every week to order something for his wife and has it sent to her office.

As I was completing my order, the man reappeared out of nowhere, laid cash on the counter, and said, "You shouldn't have to buy your own flowers.".  Then he smiled and walked away!

That has stuck with me all these years.  :D




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Coley

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Re: SO best compliment - most comforting thing a stranger has done
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 11:43:23 AM »
When DS was about 5 months old, my uncle (DS's namesake) died suddenly. I had to take DS on a plane by myself for the funeral because my then-DH couldn't take time off work.

I dislike flying at all, and I was very nervous about flying alone with DS. As we were boarding the plane, I could immediately see that some of the nearby passengers were less than thrilled about having a baby seated close by. DS and I had to share a window seat, unfortunately, because it was such a last-minute ticket. I was struggling with holding DS and trying to deal with his diaper bag and my purse while trying to climb over the two other passengers in our row who would not get up to allow us to our seat.

A very kind woman who was seated in the row behind asked me if she could hold DS for a moment while I got into the seat and was settled. She was so sweet to be so helpful.