I’m An American

I’d just left a medical appointment when I saw a young woman pushing a stroller in the rain. She was near a bus stop, but something made me stop. Maybe it was her bright African dress setting off, her lovely deep black skin, or the cute toddler she pushed, or my memories of Africa. I rolled down the window, “Do you have far to go?”

She quickly handed me a piece of wet paper with the name of a clinic and a simple map. It was five miles away, with a bus change. “Have go here. Have boy there 8:45.” It was 8:40.

“I’ll take you.” We loaded the stroller in the tiny back space of our Geo Trakker. I called the office to tell them she would be late for the appointment, put it on speaker so she could say her name, and they assured her she could be late.

During the drive we talked. Her English was quite good. She is a refugee from South Sudan, via a camp in Kenya.

I said, “Welcome to America. I am happy you are here.”

“You are very kind,” she said.

“I’m an American,” I said.

I’m old enough to enjoy looking at young women without guilt, and she was the most beautiful I’ve seen in a very long time. Her son was cute, animated and had curious bright eyes. My rainy day turned sunny.

“God bless you,” she said, ” He will reward you.”

I don’t believe in a god who protects or punishes, but I will treasure that blessing for a very long time.


I’m An American — 12 Comments

  1. Bob, you just made my day! If there were more people like you and Claire, this world would definitely be a better place!

    We were just the other day wondering about you two…we hadn’t heard anything for awhile and wondered if everything was OK. Glad to hear you are still kicking!

    Any other epic trips planned?

    Hugs from both of us…

  2. Well done. I love the end. I don’t believe in that god ether but I still believe in humanity .
    Thanks .

  3. Those small gestures of kindness are what life is all about. I’m glad you were in the right place at the right time. Thank you for representing the best of America.

  4. I was getting worried about you guys. Thought maybe wheels had fallen off your bike. Where are you guys, Arizonia? Been a long time since we met in the snowstorm on Donner. I am still battling cancer. 11.5 years now. Still going fishing but the last year was kinda rough due to my naropoysy in my feet.
    Take care and keep pedaling . Bill. Paul is doing fine too.

  5. Bill Wendt, You are amazing! I can’t believe how long it’s been. That was a lucky snow storm for us, to get to meet you and Paul. Were so glad to hear you are still going strong. Say hi to Paul.

  6. The Brays. Nothing planned. Claire’s dad has dementia and is declining and we need to be within a day of him, not five weeks in the outback of Australia.

  7. It is wonderful to live exciting adventures through your blog!! Kathy Riggle in Colorado!

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