Recently, my family and I moved to Harlem so my husband could be Priest in Charge at St. Philips Church. Being a New Yorker, I was very excited about coming home, but a little overwhelmed at the same time. You see, I have a disabled daughter named Sarah. She is in a wheelchair, and trying to get around the city is a huge challenge. You always have to think ten steps ahead, and plan for all circumstances. Harlem has offered the best of the city. It is a slow enough pace that I can think ahead without being trampled by people trying to get to their destination, but close enough to everything so I can pretty much go wherever I want with Sarah with a minimal amount of pain.
In trying to stay in touch with my friends in different states, I emailed a good friend who lives and works in the DC area. She asked if we liked New York better than New Orleans, where we moved from? I answered, absolutely. The people are much nicer here. This surprised her. She had always heard that New Yorkers were rude and abrupt. Honestly, I took offense with her statement, but ignored it and went about my day, although it still niggled in the back of my brain.
So, this past Saturday, my son and husband were at work, and I had to take the dog on her afternoon walk. I bundled up Sarah in her coat, hat and warm socks, tossed her in her wheelchair and off we went. I can only imagine what we must look like. Short middle aged woman, little girl in a wheelchair, and huge 110 pound Newfoundland walking down the sidewalk. Anyway, as we were walking along we passed two young men walking the opposite direction. Since we live close to Def Jam records, my first thought was rappers, but what do I know. My dog, Rosey, finally decides on a place to do her business, and as I cross in front of Sarah’s wheelchair to clean it up I notice that one of her socks is gone. Now, understand, Sarah loves to kick her socks off, and I have quite the collection of single socks. I huffed at the lost sock thinking I have another for my collection, and look up at the five blocks we have walked in hopes of seeing the missing sock. Instead, I see the two young men coming towards me carrying a little white sock. Now, they could have easily just stepped on past the sock and gone on their way, but instead picked it up and walked back the five blocks to give it to me. I thanked them very much, and they just smiled and went back on their way.
When I got home from my walk, I immediately got on my email and related the story to my friend in D. C. I ended it like this…Welcome to Harlem, New York, the rude and uncaring city. Thank you young men wherever you are, your gesture was most appreciated.
Do you have a Harlem story you would like to Contribute?
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