Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just when you think New Yorkers have no moral fortitude...

you experience New Yorkers at their very best. It was a Sunday morning of gym and errands which brought me to my local Food Emporium to pick up yet another 10 lb bag of litter, to be lugged back home in what has turned out to be a very hot and sticky summer day in NYC. While I waited in the direct sun to cross the street I happened to turn back to see the delivery guy that managed to make the light crossing in the opposite direction, younger and faster than I apparently, hoisting up an elderly gentlemen that apparently fell. I grabbed my weighty bag of litter from the street and ran over to help. All in the blink of an eye about 4 other New Yorkers came over to help. One gentleman got behind the fallen man and the delivery guy pulled from the front and got him back on his feet.

I collected his grocery bags, hearing aid and triwheeled walker from the street. My self and the gentlemen made sure all the moving parts actually moved, a 3rd person got the walker to him and we made sure that he could stand. All was OK , I grabbed the grocery bags and the "gentleman" grabbed the old man and the walker and we proceeded to walk him home.

While we were walking home the "gentleman" found out that the elderly man was 97 years old lives alone, and just lost his wife of 72 years 2 years ago. The elderly man said that he had no complaints life has been good to him. This elderly man was the nicest person I have met, he was happy, glad that we could help him, chatting away to us as his elbow and knee were bleeding from the wounds he sustained from 72nd st and that damn subway (aka the new T Line) that they are building which is reeked havoc all up and down 2nd Ave. Based on the amount of blood from these scrapes I would say coumadin or some other blood thinner was to blame.

As I approached the man's apartment building first with the rather heavy parcels I asked the door man and front desk man if they had a 97 year old tenant on the 15th floor? They said they did and I advised that he had fallen and before I could say that he was coming in behind me with the gentlemen that helped, the 2 doormen plus the maintenance guy came running to help! The gentleman passed the elderly man off to the doormen, I told them that we needed to clean and bandage the wounds which another guy went to grab the first aide kit. Another guy, at this point they were coming out of the woodwork, called the man's son to let him know he fell. I recommend that they get him upstairs to his apartment get him in fresh clothes some water and put him to bed to rest than check in on him in an hour. At that point they shooed me away and buzzed around him like bees.

I always think about growing old in NYC and how lonely this big city can be and how really lonely it must be when you are old and can't get around and everyone is running past you and sometimes over you because you move so slow. That the simple chore of going to the market is no longer a simple chore. But the really cool thing about NYC is that you are never alone. New Yorkers are very respectful of one anothers privacy. Living in such close proximity it is a way to protect ones personal space. However we are all very watchful of one another and not in that creepy suspicious way but in that, I see you every day at the same time so I may smile or nod recognition and I got your back. If you fall in the street and I am there, be sure to know that I will make sure you are OK and/or call for an ambulance if necessary. I will make sure you are not alone.

I will be checking in on my elderly new friend tomorrow. As I shook his hand to say goodbye he told me that if I ever fall in the street that he hoped he would be close by so he could help me!
That is the sweetest and most charming thing a man has ever said to me :-)

40 Single in the City