Letters to the Editor

Letter: Kansas wind

February 2, 2014


To the editor:

Saturday afternoon, Jan. 18, was a very windy day! I used my walker to get my mail at the box near the street. While I was taking the mail from the lockbox, the wind increased, my walker took off and ended up one block away by the curb on a street that is usually busy. At that time, without a walker or a cane, I felt like I was in a boat without a paddle.

Fortunately, there was little traffic at that particular time. A man driving by stopped his car when he saw my predicament. He brought the walker to me. (By then, I was halfway to get it.)

I am sending this letter to thank the very kind man who helped me. He also had a great sense of humor and said, with a smile, “You haven’t live in Kansas very long, have you?”


Lawrence Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

Nice letter. Thanks for sharing it!

I have a friend who often goes to Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco. The other day, we talked about how long it takes for him just to get in and out of the car, to do things that I would take care immediately without a second thought - at least, until I met him for the first time several years ago. He is handicapped because a car ran a red light and smashed into his vehicle. Since that time, he has hardly been able to walk, despite surgery. He has back problems, too - making it difficult to do even small things such as dressing in the morning, preparing breakfast and dinner.

This takes him most of the day just to do these everyday things, whereas I can do them quickly, having the rest of the day for other things I want to do.

Before the vehicle accident, he could ski, run and do all kinds of things, as well as carrying out a full time executive job.

Now it takes almost all day for him to put on his clothes, get groceries, eat breakfast and supper. To get into and out of his car takes 20 minutes in itself. But he still does it, and he walks every day as well, even when it rains.

His point of view is that life is worth more than lying in bed, if he can somehow get up and do things. And he does. He even walks down steps with a walker, though very slowly. That's how I first met him. He was going down some very long steps, very very slowly, and I asked if I could help him. He said no, he would be fine, but in the course of the long way down those steps we had our first of many great conversations.

He speaks Russian (he emigrated from Russia several years before the accident took place) and fairly good English, so it is a wonderful chance to learn more Russian (although my Russian is not half as good as his English).

I still take walks with him at least once a week, even though, for me, his walking is very slow going.

And that's why I really appreciate your writing this letter to thank this person. Like so many other people, I never thought about being handicapped in some way until I first met him, strictly by chance, and as a result I was propelled into another world which is absolutely fascinating.

Every time I get together, I realize how fortunate we are are just to be on this earth. But many people don't know a single person who is handicapped, or walks with a walker, just to give two examples.

Isn't it time for them to meet more people, and to welcome those people into their lives?

Ken Lassman 4 years, 4 months ago

When I first saw the headline, I assumed it was about how much energy we could harvest from the wind here in Kansas. After reading it, I'm pleased to see that it was about how the Kansas wind can harvest kindness as well. Shall I say it was uplifting? Sorry about that.

And thanks, Lawrence, for sharing your story about the Russian emigrant and how he has enriched your life just by opening it to the treasures that can be found when life is lived at a different speed. As an occupational therapist, I have been honored to witness these riches from many folks I've interacted with over the years and have learned what true strength, wisdom and gratitude is all about again and again.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 4 months ago

Very uplifting story. Lawrence always seems to have its heart in the right place.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 4 months ago

I know how she feels. I was sitting on the little seat in my walker, waiting for the bus, when a gust of wind blew me backward down the sidewalk. The bus pulled up just then and the driver came to my rescue. I love the ramp on the bus as I only have to push the walker up it and into the bus. Easy peasy.

People are very nice in Lawrence to those who need help. I got stuck in a wheelchair trying to cross from the bus stop over to the south walmart and a truck driver stopped and pushed me up the slope and to the front door. I have had so much help from strangers when I am out and about. Thanks to all.

Thanks for the letter. Maybe this would be a good place for people to post news of kind acts they have experienced.

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