As is my custom, I left my apartment one night to buy some Chinese food. Though the restaurant was across the street, I didn’t have cash so I walked to the closest deli/bodega which was about a block away; however their ATM was down, so I walked to another one. Well, their ATM was down too. I eventually found an ATM another block away and made my way back so that I could eat my food and watch a couple of episodes of 24—you know, that show with Jack Bauer. (I skipped seasons 3-7 because I was on Amazon Prime’s free 30-day trial so I had to pick and choose. Also, this is by no means an endorsement of Amazon or 24, just the cold, hard, sad facts.)
While walking back I saw an old woman struggling to carry a very heavy bag and asked if she needed help. She said yes, and after establishing that she lived 2-1/2 blocks away, we began to walk and talk. On the way to there, we stopped by to get my food. I carried her heavy bags and she carried my food. She told me her name was Tina and that she’s St. Lucian. When I told her I was Panamanian, she responded, “That’s why you’re so nice!” (She didn’t mean nice in the face, but, you know, nice as in pleasant—her words not mine.)
As we continued walking, she told me more about herself: she has five children, 25 grandchildren (one child has 13 children), she lives with one of her daughters. We eventually got to her apartment and she began to cry. I told her I was glad to help. In my opinion, I’m thankful that I was in the right place at the right time. I was supposed to tutor that day near the time this happened. If I had tutored, or if I had had cash, or if both ATM machines weren’t down, none of this would have happened.