Do you remember the titanic changes for good that occurred during your lifetime? I mean, I’m sure you recall things such as the collapse of the Berlin Wall or how worldwide extreme poverty has reached its lowest levels in, like, ever.
But when you remember them, they’re probably just unadorned facts. They don’t carry a weighty emotional heft.
It’s the small things that really stick with us, the personal positives that bring a tear to the eye and prompt us to smile. It’s just like what happened to 6-year-old Matthew Gessner of Edmonton, Canada.
Matthew isn’t quite like other 6-year-olds. For one thing, he has spina bifida.
The CDC defines spina bifida as prenatal neural-tube defect. In other words, the bony sheath of the spine doesn’t form correctly in a pre-born baby, and the result is often nerve damage.
In Matthew’s case, he pretty much confined to a wheelchair. And that can be a problem in the Great White North where snowstorms can quickly make it impossible to drive, let alone push a handicapped individual through flurries.
According to News 9, Matthew’s mother, Shannon Ranger, walks him home from his school each and every day. But on Nov. 2, snowfall made that task nearly impossible.
Ranger thought she and Matthew could make it. But soon Matthew’s chair got stuck.
“My kids and I had brought some shovels ourselves, but not knowing how bad it was, [the snow] kinda took over us,” she said. “I tried to call a cab but the taxi company said it would be a 25 minute wait.”
Waiting in the damp and cold with multiple children, one of which couldn’t move, wasn’t a good thing. But that was when help suddenly arrived.
CBS News reported that someone living in a nearby house noticed the situation. He came out with a shovel, intending to clear the way before Matthew.
Soon another neighbor arrived, and the two hatched a plan: They could carry Matthew in his wheelchair faster than they could shovel.
So that was exactly what they did. They hefted the boy and began to carry him — and did so for over half a mile.
“They ended up carrying him the better part of a kilometer all the way home,” Ranger said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for sure.
“I’ve had issues where an elevator is broken down at a train station and I’ve needed to take stairs and actually had to carry him and the chair. People just walk past us.
“It was very amazing to see such kindness.” Perhaps it really was amazing.
But it shouldn’t be. After all, having those who are able bodied reach out to the physically infirm should be an everyday occurrence, not a singular event.
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