I had the pleasure of speaking to and assisting a vary courageous and inspiring woman on the train today. Every weekday she leaves her home, takes a cab to the train station, takes an hour train ride to the city, goes to class, goes back to the train station, rides the train for another hour, and takes a cab back home. Most of us have a similar type of routine every day as well. However, what makes her different from most is that she is blind.
As she got on the train, an older gentleman had asked a younger gentleman if he would be so kind as to let her sit in his seat which was right next to me. The young man that was sitting didn’t hesitate, he immediately got up. We were sitting in seats that raise up and down; the seat remains up if no one is sitting in them. As the older gentleman guided her to the seat, I held it down so that she could easily sit, while the lady on the opposite side tried to prevent the blind woman from sitting on her. That was pretty funny.
She sits down and thanks me for helping her. We chat for a little bit about our day. We have a pretty long ride, about an hour, so the small talk eventually stops….we both are tired from the day. Our train has to make several stops and at one point a lady getting off the train asks her if this was her stop and if she needed any help. She told her that it was not, that the last stop was her’s. That too was my stop. We sat on the train a little longer. Her phone had rung and she searched for it, found it, and answered it. I watched her make a phone call to a taxi cab service to pick her up at the station to take her home. Something as simple as seeing what button to push to dial or to hang up my cell phone I take for granted.
As the train approached our stop I asked her if she needed any help. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to offend her and make it seem like she was helpless. I mean she did manage to get to the train station and on the train by herself. However, with a smile, she said the help would be appreciated. I told her that’s not a problem at all, but I would need her to guide me in helping her. The irony of that! So she told me what she needed…she followed my voice to the exit and stairs of the train. She used her walking stick to get down the stairs and off the train, and then she told me to give her my right arm. I did as she requested and we walked to the station together.
As we walked to the station we talked about the weather and how cold it was. She told me about a friend of hers who is also blind that almost fell into a hole because he wasn’t using his walking stick appropriately. As we were approaching the station, another young man called out her name and said he would meet her at the stairs and that her cab was waiting for her. She yelled back at him saying ok. I stayed with her until we reached him. Once down the stairs, she stopped, thank me, and gave me a hug. And then she said, “God has angels all around us! He takes care us of! Thank you again, Sweetheart!” And I said, “He absolutely does! He provides all our needs! And you are very welcome!” And then we parted….her into the train station and me to my car.
This beautiful soul manages to get to and from her class by cab and train without the ability to see! How courageous and how trusting is she!! She is completely reliant upon her senses and other people to get around. However, that has not stopped her from living life. She knows that God is protecting her and looking out for her – providing her with “angels”. I had the pleasure of being one of her many angels today while being witness to her other angels. She completely trusts in God’s care for her. And we must do the same!