In a world that can often seem so vast, cold, and unforgiving, it is sometimes hard to resist the feeling that no one really cares. That is why it can be such a moving experience when someone, purely out of the goodness of their heart, chooses to do something genuinely nice for another person—for the sole purpose of wanting to make that person a little happier. A sincerely kind gesture is always a powerful thing to experience, but it gets taken to a whole new level when it is performed by a total stranger with absolutely nothing to gain from it but a feeling of satisfaction for how they managed to help another.
Here are 42 heartwarming stories about some of the nicest things strangers have ever done for other people.
1. Arms Control
When I was ten years old, I had to have my arm rebroken at the hospital because it didn’t heal properly. A lady walking by heard me scream when they broke it, and waited outside the room for an hour to give me five dollars and tell me it was going to be okay. It definitely helped ease the pain a bit.
2. Checking In
One afternoon, I was carrying my sobbing infant in the grocery store while waiting in line to check out. I was super overwhelmed, as it was my first trip out after my son was born. As this was unfolding, a kind older man came over to me and said: “One day, you’re going to look back on this with happy memories, and maybe even miss these moments.” He then insisted that I cut in front of him in line, and even paid for all of my groceries. Boy, did that make a huge impact on me! What a wonderful man!
3. Do You Know Who I Am?
After several long delays at the airport, my flight home was abruptly canceled while I was standing in line at the gate waiting to board it. The next day was my son’s first birthday, so I needed to get home in time. I went up to the United desk and the staff refused to help me in any way. Not only could I not get onto another flight that day, but there was nothing available for me the next day either.
This was all despite the fact that I was internetting the hell out of my phone and showing them all sorts of flights listed online as available, including both direct and connecting options that would get me where I needed to be. For some reason, they were still refusing to accommodate me, and I just didn’t have the money to go and buy something else. It got to the point where I was starting to visibly lose my cool over all of this.
A guy in line stepped out after hearing me. He told them he had some crazy status at the airline, and asked to speak directly to the manager. Next thing I knew, he was transferring his own ticket on a direct flight to me so I could get home to see my baby boy. I don’t even know what happened. I tried to thank him in every way I knew how and he refused to take anything from me—he just told me that he knew what it was like from when he was younger, and that he wished there could have been someone to have done the same for him. I hugged the guy, probably against his will, and then ran to make my (AKA his) plane. I found myself in an amazing first class seat home for the first time in my life. This dude was seriously an angel and I will never forget him.
4. This One Has Got to Take the Cake
My birthday one year was really sucking, so I decided to go out and buy myself a cake at the grocery store. On a whim, I decided that I also wanted to get it decorated, because it was my birthday and I just wanted something a little nice to make me feel better. When the guy at the counter asked me who it was for, in order to know what name to put on it, I told him that it was for me.
He was very incredulous to the idea that I would have to buy my own birthday cake. I just kind of shrugged it off and went on to finish the rest of my shopping for groceries. He said my cake would need to be paid for at pick up. When I came back to pay for and pick up my cake, a different person was at the register—and to my surprise, she said my cake had already been paid for.
It was also decorated a bit more than I thought it should have been. I have not seen that guy working there since and, in my head, I now think of him as the cake fairy. It was a really good cake, too. Unfortunately, I still cried while eating it because the entire rest of the day sucked—but it was definitely a good cake and an awesome thing to experience.
5. Everything’s Coming Up Roses
I was in a deep depression some years back and decided to just take a walk in the park. I had been sitting down for some minutes when a kid, who could not have been more than four years old, came up to me and handed me three yellow sunflowers. This little random act of kindness became one of the most memorable moments of my life.
6. Down in the Ditch
One time, I fell asleep at the wheel and drove my car into a ditch right at the entrance to my street. It must have been around 1 AM. This guy was outside on his porch having a smoke in just a white T-shirt, rain boots, and boxers. He yells over to ask me if I need any help. I let him know that I do. He asks me to give him a sec. Within a couple of minutes, he brings out his old Toyota 4 runner and hitches my car to it. He pulls my car out in no time. I have never seen him since and have no idea who he was.
7. Next in Line
Last year, on my birthday, I decided to treat myself by stopping to grab a cup of coffee on my way to school. I ordered my coffee—but before they could even get to the next customer’s order, they told me that my card was declined. Uh oh. I try again but to no avail. Now my drink is ready and I can’t pay, and a line is beginning to form. I had no idea what to do at this point.
Then, all of a sudden, the guy behind me came forward and volunteered to pay for my drink. I tried to decline the offer, but he insisted. It didn’t seem like much of a big deal to him, but it really made my birthday.
8. Coffee Break
A homeless guy camped out in front of a Dunkin Donuts I was eating in ran inside to warn me that the meter maid was coming. He saved me $45, yet he wouldn’t even let me buy him breakfast to say thank you!
9. Emotional Security Guard
The most underratedly kind thing a stranger has ever done for me was the time a TSA guard, while checking my ID, mentioned how he could tell I had lost weight and complimented me on it. That was pretty awesome, I must say!
10. Sweeter Than Chocolate
I was once feeling really down because of school, and also just life in general. I stopped at a convenience store on the way home one day to pick up a bit of chocolate to make myself feel better. The guy at the register must have noticed how miserable I was looking, because he let me have the chocolate bar for free. It was a really simple act of kindness, but it almost made me tear up in the middle of that convenience store. It instantly improved a lousy day for me, whether the guy realized it or not.
11. Bathing Suit or Birthday Suit?
One time on a cruise ship when I was young, my bathing suit flew off of one of those wave machine things in the pool. To be clear, it didn’t just slide down a bit, exposing some of my butt. It came completely off. WHOOSH. Trying to stand, keep my boyhood covered, and look for my trunks all at once in the middle of a tsunami was tricky to say the least. All of a sudden, a towel from out of nowhere hits me in the face. Thank you, kind stranger!
12. Carry On My Friendly Stranger
I was moving out of an apartment, trying to pack some pretty heavy things into my car. A stranger witnessed this, offered to help, and spent a solid hour helping me carry furniture, densely packed clothes, and a TV down some stairs into my car. He was either an absolute gentleman or a future robber who was scouting out my apartment building for entry points. Either way, he definitely helped me a lot!
13. Not Today, Fellas!
I was waiting at a train station in South Auckland at around 10 at night. For those who are not so familiar with my home country of New Zealand, let’s just say that South Auckland has a reputation for being a “bad place.” Anyway, our trains system forces us to pre-purchase our tickets at vendors. So, me being a skinny young naive 16-year-old, I openly pull out my wallet full of cash to buy my ticket without realizing that a train station full of criminals and druggies were surrounding me.
I grab my ticket and sit down as far away from everyone else as possible, just to avoid potential trouble. Then, as I’m sitting there reading a book, these two fairly large guys begin to walk up to me demanding my cash. Then, seemingly from out of nowhere, this man runs up to us, jumps in between me and the guys, and shouts “NO, NOT TODAY, WALK AWAY!” The men flee, and this helpful stranger then sits with me for the rest of my time there to make sure that nothing else happens. When my train finally comes in, my new hero sees me off and then continues on his way as if it was all no big deal.
14. A Fella With an Umbrella
One afternoon back in my university days, I walked out of class into a summer sunshower. Just a few short instants later, some stranger walking by offered to share his umbrella with me. For the record, I am an ugly nerdy guy, so there were no ulterior motives if that’s what you’re thinking. He was just a sincerely nice guy who decided that he felt like sharing his dryness with a stranger. We parted ways at a corner and I thanked him. Then, another person going my way saw this—and offered me their umbrella. I made it mostly dry to my next class thanks to the kindness of these strangers.
15. Taking Care of Business
A professional-looking guy in a three-piece business suit got out of his car in the snow and walked through a large snow bank on the side of the road to help me push my car out. He did this voluntarily, purely out of the goodness of his heart.
16. Forever Holding His Peace
I was supposed to be a groomsman in a wedding and my flight got delayed. Like really delayed. Delayed so bad that Delta brought out the “We are sorry” care packages and complimentary pizza. Towards the seventh hour, I started getting pissed that the front desk wasn’t giving us answers. Well, while I was going off, some seven-foot-tall guy saw me, got in line for the complimentary pizza, and, to my surprise, handed me the plate that he had picked up. I ate the food and reflected on what a jerk I must have seemed like to everyone there.
A little later, he found another flight and was kind enough to have asked the front desk women to book two tickets instead of one. He gave me the other ticket. Apart from the nod I gave him once we got off the plane, I never saw that dude again or even learned his name. I made it to the wedding just in time.
17. Easter Parade
At Easter, I was ten dollars short in the grocery line. We really needed food, so I was about to put back the two chocolate Easter bunnies and the jelly beans I had, when all of a sudden the lady behind me shouts, “Don’t you dare!”
She paid for all of them. I cried and thanked her repeatedly.
18. Home Is Where the Heart Is
I bought my condo at 27 from a guy I had never met. There were a lot of offers way over asking price in a very competitive market, but I offered what I could. I had lost out on many places before over months of searching, being outbid by ridiculous cash offers I had no chance of beating. I fell in love with this neighborhood and made two other failed offers here earlier, so I just wrote him a letter telling my story, explaining how hard I’d tried to save everything I could to buy my first place and make a home to start really establishing myself.
He ended up taking my offer over several much higher bids because he sympathized with my story. He himself had apparently bought this place decades ago when he was a struggling 27-year-old trying to establish himself. My letter resonated with him to the point where, even though he probably could have made another $40k easily, he instead felt that he wanted to give me the same opportunity he had once had. I’m forever grateful to him for that, even though we have never met.
19. O Positive
The nicest thing a stranger ever did for me was donate their own blood to save my life. Thank you, blood donor!
20. Finally, Someone Who Gets Me!
I was walking back from Starbucks after meeting my ex to finalize some financial issues. I was smoking a cigarette when a man approached and asked if I had an extra smoke. I usually just decline or ignore any person who approaches me when I’m out and about in the city, as many turn out to be nothing more than beggars looking for free handouts.
However, this guy seemed genuinely nice, and he looked like he was having just as bad a day as I was. I reached into my pocket and looked in the pack I had. I forgot that I had been smoking the last one. I told him that I was sorry and that I had another pack in my car a few blocks away, if he wanted to walk up there with me.
He accepted and we got to talking. As the conversation progressed, he explained that he had recently lost his job and was now pretty much homeless for the first time in his life. He was coming from an interview for a job that he didn’t get, and I knew he wasn’t lying because I actually used to work at his school that closed down and we knew some of the same people.
When I got to the car, I offered to split the pack with him and he refused. He just wanted the single one that he had originally asked for. We were both going through the roughest times of our life, and had both previously quit smoking for years. I could tell that he was really struggling, so I reached into my pocket and offered him the last 20 bucks I had.
At first, he adamantly refused the gift, but eventually, I convinced him to take it. I, at least, had another unemployment check coming and a roof over my head. The man then proceeded to hug me, and we were almost brought to tears. He then insisted upon giving me the hoodie he was wearing, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was definitely a pretty nice one, not exactly my style but likely worth a few dollars on the street.
He wouldn’t take no for an answer and I eventually accepted this thoughtful gift. I still wear it occasionally, usually when working outside, and I am reminded of our little encounter and how caring and nice he was to me every time I put it on. I hope he’s finally doing well and I am glad that I never got into as bad a situation in life as he had been in.
21. A Shot in the Dark
I was sitting at a train station next to a girl who looked rather sporty. I noticed she was writing something, but didn’t pay any attention to what it might have been. Fast forward half an hour. She gets up, hands me a note, and walks off. Of course, I wait until she leaves before I open and read it. I was very curious as to what the message might be.
Turns out she had written “You’re really beautiful, don’t know if you’re interested but here’s my number,” followed by her phone number and several naughts and crosses. I never contacted her because I’m very shy, but I carried her note in my wallet for several years. It was a brilliant pick me up at a time when I had been feeling very low.
22. It’s Raining Pennies From Heaven
I was on the bus freaking out about not knowing how I was going to be able to feed my fiance and myself, as I was the only person working at a 100% commission job. A stranger heard me freaking out and on the verge of tears on the phone. He politely alerted me I had “dropped” some money on the ground. It was 40 dollars, and my fiance and I savored every penny. I never got to thank this guy, but I went and quit that job about a week or so later. Thankfully, I was able to find something way more stable to replace it with.
23. Missed It By That Much
When I was around eight years old, I was crossing a street without much looking. As soon as I started crossing, a stranger pulled me back by my shirt. Of course, a car flew by that same moment. Thank you, stranger.
About three or four winters ago, I had a 5 AM shift on Thanksgiving. It was freezing cold outside and I had to catch public transportation to get to my job. So there I was waiting on the street corner for a good ten to twenty minutes, freezing my tail off. Suddenly, a taxi driver waves me down and asks if I need a ride. Me being super broke at the time, I couldn’t afford it so I waved him off.
A couple of minutes pass by and he drives by me again, waving me down once more. I tell him that I can only afford to take public transportation. Nevertheless, he insists on driving me—telling me not to worry about the money. I hopped in the car and he was the most gracious person in the world, taking me right to where I needed to be and asking absolutely nothing in return.
25. That Guy Was Key
I was out clubbing one time and unknowingly dropped my house keys. The next day, I get a letter in my mailbox with a guy’s phone number. I text him. It turns out he had found my keys at the club, recognized the building they belonged to (student housing), came to the building, and tried using the keys on every single mailbox until he found the right one. Then gave them back to me. He was the nicest guy I’ve ever seen, and I am definitely glad he didn’t choose to rob me instead!
26. Traveling in Style
In Paris, the Metro is not wheelchair friendly. We got stuck once because the accessible station was closed and we were diverted elsewhere. Two guys walked up, picked up my mother-in-law in her chair, and carried her up a flight of stairs, through the turnstile, and down another flight of stairs to the platform. It was as quick as you please, and they wanted nothing more than thanks. I don’t think they even knew each other.
27. Secret Santa
Last Christmas, I couldn’t afford any gifts for my son. I’m a single mom, currently coming out of a domestic violence situation. I was struggling so much and I really had no way of making it work at that time. I wrote a comment on Reddit in which I talked about my situation. The next thing I knew, Redditors I had never met and who I have no physical connection with had bought my son Christmas gifts. My son had an absolutely amazing Christmas. He’s four years old and it meant so much for him to have gifts to open. I still cry when I think about how generous these strangers were. I hope one day I can pay it forward.
28. Nifty and Thrifty
My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was a kid, so we often shopped at thrift stores and such. What I loved about that was that you could get ten books for a dollar, so I would often plant myself in front of the book section, make piles of which ones I wanted to get, and then decided after I had gone through them all.
One day, an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read. I told her that I did and showed her a few of the books I had found that I liked. She smiled, and then pulled a dollar out of her purse. She handed it to me and said, “Promise me that you’ll keep reading.” I was so happy, and I immediately stood up and said that I definitely would. She smiled and walked away, and I went back to my piles—now able to pick out an extra ten books to take home.
It was just a small act of kindness for her. For me, though, having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued lifelong love of reading. This was probably about 20 years or so ago, but I still think of her every time I buy a new book.
29. I Gotcha, Bro
I studied in Copenhagen last year—and, believe me, you don’t get very far living on a student loan. One time, I was shopping at the local grocery store when this lovely guy who realized I was a student stepped up, voluntarily paid for all of my groceries, and wished me the best experience I could possibly have while studying in Copenhagen. All I could say was thank you. I have never forgotten this man and his generosity.
30. All Aboard!
When I was about nine or ten years old, I just missed the school bus one morning. All of a sudden, this big guy who happened to have witnessed the whole thing ran over to where I was, picked me up, and run after the bus screaming to try and get the driver to stop. They eventually did, at which point the man put me down at the door and we drove off. I never even got the chance to say thank you. This guy was a saint—I was a pretty chubby little rascal back then!
I was working the cash register at Chick-fil-A and one of the customers had a book that I had been wanting to read. I mentioned to him that I was planning on getting it when I got my paycheck in a few days. The next morning, I go into work and my manager hands me a copy of that very book, saying that some guy had come in and dropped it off for me. The dude went out and bought me the book! It was honestly the nicest thing I ever experienced—and I never even saw him again to say thank you.
32. Stormy Weather
Here in upstate New York, we just got a foot of snow. I came out to snowblow my driveway—only to discover that my driveway had already been plowed. It’s a very long driveway. Whoever it was didn’t even leave a note or anything. I have no idea who did it or why. Thanks, stranger!
33. Hit and Stay
When I was 11, I was stupid enough to cross in front of a bus with only a cursory glance backward, and I missed the minivan that had just started to overtake the bus. I got hit by the left-hand corner and flung across the road, injuring my legs and splitting my lower lip. It was a bad accident and my knee still hurts me sometimes even all this time later.
As I lay there on the ground, a lady who I didn’t know but had seen on the bus a few times came over and helped me over to the curb, checked me over, made sure my parents were called, made sure an ambulance was called, and generally looked after a scared tearful hurt little boy until help arrived. She was a wonderful person and helped me hugely to get through that situation in the panic of the moment. I still see her around the neighborhood to this day, and she always gives me a big smile when I wave hello.
34. License to Give Thanks
On a Monday afternoon, I came home from work to find a letter in the mail. It was addressed by hand and the return address wasn’t familiar. I thought to myself “this can’t be good!” I opened the envelope to find my driver’s license and a note. I was unaware that I had even been missing my driver’s license. Apparently, on the prior Saturday, I had managed to drop it from my wallet somehow.
This nice person found it on the sidewalk, went home, wrote her note, addressed an envelope to me, and put a stamp on it, then deposited it into a mailbox in time for the Saturday pickup. By Monday, it was already back safely in my hands before I had even realized that it was missing.
35. Just in Time
While walking through the Walmart parking lot, my cousin and I (two young naive-looking girls) were approached and harassed by a guy who did not seem very mentally stable. As we were standing there beside this guy not knowing what to say or do to get away safely, we suddenly heard a middle-aged country boy yelling from a distance, “Girls! What do y’all think you’re doing?! Y’all know we ain’t got time for this! We’re gonna be late!!!”
We apologized to the guy for having to run, and quickly walked toward the man. When we got to him, he just laughed a little and said, “Just thought y’all could use a little help.” Thank you, kind stranger!
36. The Long and Winding Road
This is a story that happened during the dark days of my childhood, in the mid-80s. I was ten years old, and I was having serious problems with my family—mostly my father. I was doing absolutely miserably at school. That year, I also had the bad luck of having a really bad music teacher. Now, music wasn’t a major subject, as we had one lesson a week. Nevertheless, that person was determined to make it a living hell for me.
Looking back now, I think he was just a quirky character, but he definitely had an extremely short fuse and was prone to switching at the drop of a hat from hearty, belly-type laughter to shouting and roaring at someone for nothing at all. I just never knew where I was with him, and adding that to my problems at home just brought me to the brink.
One day in December, my mother had promised that she would come to school on the day we had music lessons and that she would have a word with him. So I stood in front of the classroom, waiting and waiting for her. She didn’t show up. My brain just went into complete panic mode. I could not face that teacher on my own for another lesson, I just couldn’t.
So I walked away and walked right out of the school. I walked through the town. I walked through the outskirts of the town, and through the industrial area around that. I walked through the first village, then the second village. It was very cold, and there was a lot of snow on the ground, so I wasn’t walking fast, but I just kept walking on and on.
At some point, a car pulls up next to me and a man, probably in his 30s, rolls down the window and asks me if I wanted a lift. I said no, thank you. After all, I had no idea where I was heading myself and, as a young girl, I had been warned about taking lifts from strange men. I just kept walking. Through the next village, and then the next.
It was beginning to get dark. I had started to cry. I was feeling worn out, tired and so, so cold. I must have been walking for the better part of six hours at that point. All of a sudden, that same car pulls up next to me again, and the same man asks if I had changed my mind about wanting a lift now. By this point, I really did not care about anything anymore, so I got in. It was nice and warm in the car. He started chatting to me, easy and friendly. He even offered me a cigarette, which I found very odd.
Eventually, he got me to open up a bit and tell him why I was walking down country roads in the middle of winter all by myself. I told him all about how I felt my parents would be better off without me, and how I felt they didn’t really care and hated me. He kept talking to me, mainly about my family. He asked who else I have in my life who might care about me.
So I tell him about my grandmother who I’ve always been really close with. He asks me if I would like it if he dropped me off at her place and checked to see if maybe I could stay with her for the night instead of with my parents. I was just so exhausted at this point that without giving it a second thought, I agreed.
He turns the car around and drives back towards our town. On the way, he tells me that he had been thinking and worrying about me on the road that whole day, ever since he had first asked me if I needed a lift. He tells me that he had actually left work early just to drive around and see if he could find me—to make sure I was safe and that everything was okay.
He dropped me off outside my grandmother’s house and drove off. My grandmother gave me the longest, hardest hug anybody had ever given me in my life. I stayed with her for the next couple of weeks until things settled down a bit back at home. I have never told anybody about getting this lift from a total stranger, but I’ve never forgotten him. And I never will. If I ever find myself in a similar situation, I truly hope I can be as sweet and kind as he was.
37. A Very Deer Fellow
We live in Canada, where a lot of deer and moose run into the middle of the road in the winter. My mom and sister were driving back home on a rural road late at night and when a deer ran in front of them. My mom couldn’t stop fast enough and hit the deer. The vehicle was wrecked and they were about 40 minutes away from home in the middle of nowhere. A random guy pulled over to help them. He ended up driving 20 minutes to the nearest town to buy them pizza, and waited with them while my dad drove from home to pick them up.
38. Knocking On Heaven’s Door
It was Thanksgiving Day, 2003. I was driving down to my parents’ house on Long Island from Buffalo, New York—roughly a seven or eight-hour drive. As I’m about halfway there, I have a tire blow out on me. It’s just completely shredded. I managed to get the donut on and slowly tried to make my way into the next town. Most of New York state is just farms and emptiness, including the spot this happened to me in.
I tried stopping at every store along the way that could conceivably have a tire, but nothing was open. I stopped at a police station, but they just told me to get a hotel until tomorrow. So, I hopped back into my car and kept going. That’s when my donut went flat. I got out and started walking. This is 2003, so I didn’t have a cell phone.
I knocked on the door of the first house I could find, hoping they’d let me use their phone to call my parents and inform them of this situation. The lady who answered the door not only invited me in and let me use her phone, but even offered me food and then, to my complete shock, called her friend who owned a used car dealership, had them tow my car to the dealership and put on a new tire, all free of charge. I went from completely missing Thanksgiving and having to spend the night in some crummy hotel outside Binghamton to being back on my way within two hours. I’ll never forget that lady.
39. There’s a New Sheriff in Town
In 1990, I was 19 years old. I was driving across the country by myself and all I had was $63 and a Texaco card. One night, I notice that my gas tank is close to empty somewhere in the middle of Iowa, so I pull up to a Texaco station—about five minutes after they had closed. I was trying to only use my Texaco card and to conserve what little cash I had.
The person working at the station wouldn’t open to give me gas, so I decide that I’ll just put ALL my clothes on and sleep in my car until they opened again in the AM. It was the middle of December and only about 11 degrees. At about 2 in the morning, I hear a tap on the window and a voice saying “I’m going to have to ask you to step out of the car!”
It was the sheriff. Uh oh! I explained what was going on to him. He ran my ID to make sure I didn’t have warrants or anything and then ominously stated, “That’s not how we do things around here.” Oh no, I was terrified! How do you do things around here? What’s going to happen to me?!? Turns out, he was PISSED that the guy at the gas station had left me there and refused to help.
So, he called the owner of the gas station up and made him come down in the middle of the night to fill up my gas tank—for free. Then the sheriff calls his wife and lets her know what’s going on. She tells him to offer to bring me over to their place for the night. Mrs. Sheriff proceeds to feed me, let me take a shower, and give me a place to sleep until the next morning.
Then she feeds me again, packs me a lunch for the road, gives me $20 in cash, and sends me on my way. It was seriously one of the most wholesome things that has ever happened to me.
40. Ticket to Ride
I was at a bar with my then-girlfriend. Seated next to us was an older gentleman who was alone and looking forlorn. After some time, he tapped my girlfriend on the shoulder and said, “I like the way you two talk to one another. Here’s what I’m going to do. I spent a fortune on these tickets for my wife. Unfortunately, she can’t go anymore, and I just don’t feel like going without her. So, I’d like the two of you to have them. The only catch is that the concert starts in twenty minutes.” He didn’t elaborate, nor would he accept any kind of payment. He asked only that we go, enjoy ourselves, and keep being good to each other. He paid his tab, handed us the tickets and left. And that’s the story of how I got front row seats to a Prince concert.
41. One Good Turn Deserves Another
Around 2008, I helped a guy go through TSA at Laguardia airport in New York City. He had never flown before, and had no idea what he was allowed to take on the plane or what the whole security process entailed. Security told him he couldn’t use the plastic bags he had all his stuff in. What rattled me was the fact that he was shoving pairs of very new Nike shoes into a trash bin.
I couldn’t fathom why, so I went over to ask him. He explained his situation. I told him that if he held tight, I’d go through security, buy him a carry-on, pass it over to him, and let him use it to get his stuff through. He handed me a hundred dollar bill and I gave him my crochet project bag to hold as insurance. I got him a suitcase, went back, gave him it along with the change, and showed him everything he needed to do to get through.
He thanked me and we hugged, each going our separate ways. My flight turned out to be delayed by three hours at the last minute, and I was already exhausted. I used my purse as a pillow, covered myself up with my coat, and fell asleep against a wall. When I woke up, there was a fuzzy travel blanket, a convertible neck pillow, an eye mask, a bag of cookies, and a little plush stuffed dog with a note tucked in his collar. The man I had helped stuck this gift between me and the wall and never woke me up. I ended up traveling for 11 more hours and that thoughtful little package saved my sanity. Random airport dude, I’m glad you got to keep your kicks, and I still have the puppy! I named him LG.
42. Angels in the Heavens
When I was really ill in October 2017, my father also became even more ill than I was in another country. There was nobody else around for him who actually gave a damn, so I had to fly over there to see and support him. I planned to bring him home with me after he had recovered from his surgery. I had just been through a lot of trauma, and I was in no physical or emotional state to be getting on a plane—but there was literally no other option.
The flight was only around two hours long, but even that was way too much for someone as weak and frail as I was at that time. When I was waiting in line to board the plane, I could immediately feel myself getting dizzy and panicky—but that got a lot worse when I got onto the plane and when it started to take off. I started having a full blown panic attack, hyperventilating and crying in my seat.
I was sitting at the window, and there was a rather large man sitting in the middle with his daughter on the outer seat. The man noticed me crying, and he and his daughter switched seats. She took my hand and said something along the lines of “You’re okay, we’re here. There’s no need to hold this anxiety back, we’re not going to judge you, just let it happen and everything will be alright.”
She just hugged me and told me she’s so sorry while I hysterically cried. Once we landed, she and her father drove me in their car directly to the door of the hospital my dad was admitted to (over an hour away). They even offered to book me a hotel for a night or two, but thankfully I already had my accommodations sorted out. I do not know what I would have done without those people that day. We have each other on Facebook now, and she still occasionally checks in with me to this day.