Everyday Angels

A look out the window finds neighbors coming to the rescue

Pictured from left to right: Bill Soukup, Lillie Soukup, Mary Kaczmarkek, Thea Soukup and Sean Davies (Not pictured: Karin Davies)
Pictured from left to right: Bill Soukup, Lillie Soukup, Mary Kaczmarkek, Thea Soukup and Sean Davies (Not pictured: Karin Davies) Courtesy of Lowell Engelhard

One of those strong summer storms moved through Charlotte on a Friday evening in July. Our subdivision suffered considerable damage, with some trees and large limbs down, smaller limbs and debris everywhere.

Although we incurred no significant damage, our property was a mess. Normally I would have been in full cleanup mode Saturday morning, but my wife, Sandy, was coming home after a four-week stay at Carolinas Medical Center. She had been hospitalized following a severe adverse reaction to her cancer treatment. Lawn care would have to wait.

Sunday around noon, while a physical therapist was completing an initial evaluation for Sandy's at-home care, I looked out our front window and saw six of our neighbors vigorously picking up limbs from the natural areas, raking leaves off the lawn and cleaning debris from the sidewalk and driveway.

What a wonderful surprise! In the middle of a sweltering Sunday, these thoughtful folks were giving up a good part of their day of rest to relieve me of a big cleanup chore. I was so astounded it brought tears to my eyes.

Many, many thanks to Mary Kaczmarkek; Bill Soukup; their daughters; Lillie and Thea; along with Karin and Sean Davies.

But this was no random act of kindness; all our neighbors are angels every day. Since Sandy's cancer diagnosis earlier this year, our angels have showered us with food, flowers, offers of assistance day or night, uplifting get-well notes and cards, encouraging phone calls and, best of all, their prayers.

Our angels’ unselfish support, including thoughts and prayers from family and friends, has helped sustain us through our journey. God bless them all.

Lowell Engelhard, Charlotte

Share your story

Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson

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