Recently I was, as usual, rushing to complete an errand. Because I am a caregiver to my mother who has Alzheimer's, getting out to run errands happens very infrequently and is always rushed.
I had ordered some items online to be delivered to stores so I could save shipping costs. Because of the recent ice and snow, my items had not been picked up during the prescribed length of time so I felt it was a necessity to get them picked up immediately.
I parked in front of the Staples in the Promenade on Providence shopping center, jumped out of the car with my coat, wallet and keys. As I was rushing toward the store while trying to put my coat on, I tripped over a parking block.
Before I knew what was happening, down I went. I tried to catch myself, but I smacked the ground face-first. Because I was addled, I just laid there. Soon I heard a man’s voice asking if I was all right.
Trying to catch my breath, I couldn't answer at first but eventually said, “Just let me lie here a minute.” After a few seconds he asked if he could help me up. I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was a pair of the sharpest looking wingtips I had ever seen.
Slowly I started to get up and I felt two hands helping me while he asked if I was sure I was all right and if I needed an ambulance. I assured him I thought I was OK – just shaken up.
He helped me inside to a chair while calling for someone to help me and then asked if he could call someone for me. As others came to my aid, my angel stepped back and let them in. Before I knew it, my angel had left. I had not had the opportunity to get his name or even to thank him.
Whoever he was, I want him to know that in a world full of animosity between races (I am white, he was African American), how much his kindness meant to me. When I pay it forward, I will think of him. Shannon Smith, Stallings
As told to Page Leggett