Just in time for Christmas! This short story tells a personal account I had encounter back in 2009. My goal is to inform you about the good of the American people by sharing this. This lesson remains with me to this day and forever.
Alexis de Tocqueville
The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.
On a warm Spring day in New York City, getting to work on time is the only thing on a New Yorker’s mind. I’ve recently landed a city job with the Police Department within the telecommunications branch. Although thankful for the opportunity to work for the largest police force in America at such a young age (great pay, schedule, and full benefits) I was somewhat uncomfortable at the time.
I was five months pregnant with my second child.
Hardly visibly showing in my pregnancy, I dashed out my Manhattan apartment with a coat on and a purse within my hand. I just have to get there on time. I thought to myself as I did cardio to the subway.
Little did I know, not only I will not make it on time: I will not be at work today.
Finally arrived on a crowded train headed to Brooklyn.
The funny thing about New York’s Spring is the temperature. It is very cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon. What is a person to wear? At this point, the heat started to pick up. Due to my rush of leaving my home, I left my bottle of water. Now thirsty, I stand holding firmly to the standing bar within the train.
My eye scan around the cart went nowhere. No seat available. Who would offer a pregnant young woman a seat with a heavy coat on? Again- I wasn’t showing. It’s appropriate to mention, it wouldn’t have mattered! This is the age for equality. Thanks, feminist! You suck!
But as the ride continued, I began to feel dizzy. All I needed was a cup of water and a seat. Those two basic things were denied to me.
What happened next is unbelievable.
I passed out and collapsed to the ground.
Next thing I knew, I gain back my consciousness slowly while laying on the train’s floor. My head was on a lady’s lap- who was also on the floor with me. But my attention gazed on the man squatted in front of me. He unbuttoned my coat.
That is when he saw my stomach.
“She is pregnant you fools!” He shouted at everyone on the train. “No one could have offered her a seat?!” I looked up. People were standing around me. Those who remained seated had their heads down in shame.
Then someone had pulled the emergency bar to stop the train for a sick passenger. That would be me.
When the doors opened, the man carried me out the train. A few people followed us out.
I couldn’t speak. What’s going on? I thought. The man placed me down onto the bench as EMS and the police were on their way. The man bought me a water bottle and someone bought me pretzels. The lady whose lap was a pillow comforted me and reassured help is on the way.
“My help is right here.” I finally spoken with a crooked smile. After I took a large sip of water, I explained to everyone I had to go to work. The man who carried me said “Absolutely not! You’re going to see a doctor. Don’t worry about work.”
“You don’t understand. I just started this job. I don’t want to lose it.” I spoke with my head down, still confused over the faint.
He paused for a moment. Then he asked, “What is your job number? I’ll speak with your boss.”
We all started laughing.
Even in times of stress, there is always room for a smile. This is something in my nature.
The EMS showed up with a large stretcher and the police came next. Medical services took over when a man lifted me up onto the stretcher. (Gee, was this embarrassing. All on a NYC subway platform!) My stranger friends wish me a great recovery, I thanked them and we departed. The kind lady gave me her phone number just in case I need her help after the hospital visit.
Being that I worked for NYPD, a police officer stood with me all the way until I was admitted into the hospital. We rode the ambulance together and spoke about my scare.
Everything went out well. Turns out, I was dehydrated. My baby is doing well. My job excused my absence.
But one important take back I got from this experience is how good the American people are to help a stranger like me. But we weren’t exactly strangers. They are my fellow countrymen.
I will always remember the good and have the will of passing on the goodness I was shown on that hot Spring day in the NYC subway.