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Letter to the editor: Kind passersby offered valuable aid in time of need

Kaphlunk. Kaphlunk. Kaphlunk.
We, my husband John and I, emerged from a daze to realize that sound was coming, with regularity, from our car. That happened on Wednesday evening, Nov. 14, at about 6:30. It was a chilly night. We pulled over on Seymour Street, still within the village of Middlebury.
Yes, the right back tire was flat. Guardian angels appeared. A young man was taking a stroll with a friend. They heard us coming. The young man asked us, “Would you like some help?” I answered, “We would love some help.” (I stopped changing my own tires about 40 years ago. John is 77 years old. I forget we have wrinkles and silver hair.)
Our angels’ names were Graham and Ariel. We found the jack, the doughnut spare tire, and the lug nut wrench. Graham changed our tire. We offered to pay Graham for his work. He replied that we do live in Vermont and this is how we treat each other. He did not want money. I asked if there was an organization that was meaningful to him, so that we could pay our gratitude forward. Graham said, “No.” We, John and I, have decided to make a donation to the Charter House Coalition on 27 North Pleasant St. Every human being deserves the comfort of knowing where home is.
That evening John and I were on our way home from the movies. We were so absorbed in Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You.” Three messages from the movie stayed with us: You never know what is going to happen next. (Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun, explains the meaning of this statement in her book, “Comfortable with Uncertainty.”) It is very important in life, to be present, observe, and respond to what is around you. Work together.
We also had extra help from the spirit world. John’s mom, Jane, would have turned 108 on Nov. 14. Hmmm … 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Also, the math teacher in me wants you to know, 108 = 11 X 22 X 33.
Patricia Heather-Lea
Bristol

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