One incident occurred in 1975, when I was nineteen. I was traveling alone with my nine-month-old daughter, returning from Europe after spending two years with my husband in the military (he was not going to be processed out for another three months). Due to a delay in London, my flight arrived late in New York at LaGuardia Airport, so I ended up missing my connecting flight to California. I was walking in the terminal carrying my daughter (no stroller) and my purse, and pulling a large suitcase. Suddenly, I fell straight to my knees. I was so well-balanced that I didn’t drop my daughter; I just fell straight to my knees. No one came to help me.
After getting up, I walked to the military booth and discovered that all the flights to California were booked. I would have to spend a few days in New York. The representatives at the military booth suggested I check with other airlines, where I could order tickets and then be refunded for my original ones. After walking around to several other booths, I fell to my knees again. For the second time, no one came to help me. I was very distraught and tired and began to pray to my Lord and my angel. I was again walking through the terminal, trying to decide what to do, when I dropped to my knees a third time. As you can imagine, my knees were pretty bruised and sore at this point. Getting up again, I was approached by an elderly man who asked if he could be of assistance. I was so overwhelmed I began to tell him everything. He walked me to a seating area where I fed my daughter and where I waited while he booked me on a flight leaving Kennedy Airport the next morning. This elderly man then drove me to a hotel, checked me in, and then returned at 6:00 am to deliver my daughter and me to John F. Kennedy Airport. After depositing us both in the seating area, I simply hugged and thanked him. It wasn’t until later that I realized I hadn’t even asked his name. I had simply trusted him from the start. But, that wasn’t the end of my journey. The flight I was on made about 7 stops on its way to Los Angeles. After about 45 minutes in the air, we landed and almost everyone got off the plane. While I was waiting in my seat, one of the flight attendants came over and asked me how far I was going. When I told her I was going to Los Angeles, she said, "Oh my God! Wait here a minute." After some time, she returned with a gentleman who was the airport manager. He took me to his office and let me sleep on his couch (I hadn’t slept in over 24 hrs), while his secretary took care of my daughter. When I awoke, the manager had already placed us on a non-stop flight to Los Angeles! He walked us personally to the boarding flight and handed us over to the attendant with instructions to take care of us.
Even now, I continue to communicate with my angel throughout my adult life. Looking back, I have always regretted not asking for the name of the first gentleman I met in New York, but I think of him always. He taught me that we are responsible for reaching out to others with kindness, for no reason other than to help. Because of the incident at LaGuardia Airport, I have reached out to others when I could have passed them. They never know my name. I just reach out and keep moving on.