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Look for the Helpers

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

I put a pause on Melissa Garchie DIY. Not because I am not fully committed. Not because I've lost interest, but because my family went through something awful this past weekend.

To be very honest, I could write pages and pages of what we went through, but I am not quite there yet. To sum a ten hour ordeal up, my oldest daughter, Taylor, was in a boogie boarding accident on Sunday. In a split second, a powerful wave crashed right on top of her, twisting her body and slamming her into the ground below. When she popped up, the injury was clear to my husband and youngest daughter, who were in the water with her.

I was up on the beach, and my youngest came running, screaming up, "Taylor is hurt, Taylor is hurt." I, along with everyone on the beach, heard it. And then Taylor came into my view. Her arm was no longer in her shoulder, and my husband mouthed, "we need to go NOW." My stomach dropped. Taylor wasn't crying, but she did not have to for anyone to see how much pain she was in. The next ten hours would consist of multiple procedures and X-Rays, a CT scan that would reveal the injury was far worse than a severe dislocation and lots of pain, lots of trauma. Taylor has three fractures in three different bones, so unfortunately, we are not over this ordeal yet, as she sees an orthopedic shoulder surgeon next week.

But that, all of that, is not what I want to focus on. Instead, I want to go back to that beach, when it became abundantly clear my daughter, our family, was in the midst of an emergency, and people dropped everything to help.

I had no service, so people were offering their phones. A man, who had experienced a similar injury, helped us create a makeshift sling from a beach towel and stayed with us until we got to the car, reminding Taylor how brave and tough she is because he was screaming when it happened to him. People offered to pack up our stuff or watch it for us. Others cleared the path on the beach and stairs. And this is all people we did not know until that very moment. Our friends, who were with us, were saints. Packing up our items, offering to take Cameron (who was completely hysterical) with them, and loading up our car.

People are so good. So, so good. We can't forget that, and I didn't, when I learned of someone who was the complete opposite.

My husband ran ahead to get the car, so he could pull it up in front of the small walkway we took to the beach. If he hadn't, the far walk up the beach, stairs and walkway, would have been much longer for us to get to the car. When he pulled up, there was nothing on the street, and it was narrow, so he pulled slightly into a private driveway that led to an underground condo parking structure. As we were about to leave, a man pulled up behind us, trying to get into the driveway. I was the last one to get in, so I said, "I'm so sorry - my daughter is injured and we are taking her to the ER. We are leaving now." He waited no more than a minute to pull into the driveway, but apparently, he let my friends have it after we left. Reminding them it's private driveway and a tow away zone. My friends let him know what happened to my daughter, and why we were there, but that didn't change a thing for him and he proceeded to get aggressive. My friends, along with several others who had now come up the walkway to ensure we had been able to leave safely, continued to defend us to a man that was only concerned about his minute long inconvenience.

The next day, when I learned about this, I focused on it for quite some time. It upset me. I couldn't believe my friends, and some amazing strangers, had to deal with him, after taking such amazing care of us.

Then, I remembered the helpers. All of them, and how one man, one very small man, cannot change the fact that on that day, the good people far outnumbered the bad.

In a world where all the racists, sexist, and vile humans have taken center stage with viral videos dragging their ignorance and hate into the light, let's not also forget about the good. What I saw, what I continue to see, is that the good people always have, and always will, outnumber the bad. We are winning this fight - even if it feels like an uphill battle.

Look for the helpers, and when you find them (I promise you will), shine a light on them, and then join the fight too.

To the helpers on the beach: If this somehow manages to be seen by you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart - thank you. I will never forget what you did for us.

Cover photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

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