Something Special/kind that was done for you and vice-versa - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-28-2006, 03:27 AM   #31
love, blood, life
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I love stuff like this. I have several stories.

When I was five I was mauled by a dog we had just gotten ("good with kids" my ass ) in our front yard. My sister, who was only nine, tried to get the dog off me, but was no match for the dog (plus she had to make sure the foster child we had at the time was out of harm's way). My mom wasn't at home (she had one meeting she went to every month -- happened to be that evening. figures) and my dad and brother were rototilling and mowing in the back yard, and so couldn't hear or see what was happening.

We lived on a main road then and lots of cars passed just yards away (my sister said later that some people even waved as they went by), but one guy stopped. He managed to get me away from the dog and then held me above his head because the dog was still leaping for me. I don't remember anything about the mauling itself, but I do remember looking down from above the guy's head at the snarling, snapping dog still leaping for me. At that moment my dad came around the house with the rototiller -- the look of shock and horror has also stuck in my mind all these year too.

Now what that man did for me was already pretty damned special, but it continued. He came with us on the 20 mile drive to the hospital. I sat on his lap in the car (hey, it was the '60s) and he kept me calm and my mind off my injuries by teaching me to whistle and to wink on that drive. Over 30 years later I still remember that (I never learned to whistle any better than I did that night unfortunately) and I really appreciate what he did that evening -- from very possibly saving my life to gently calming a frightened and injured child.

He said later that as he was driving he did initially think we were playing, but suddenly he realised we weren't and he stopped. He was a Vietnam vet and I always wonder if his experiences there helped him to recognise terror when no one else driving by that day did. Another thing that makes what he did even more incredible is that he had been wounded there and had lost most of the use of one arm. So he picked me up and held me above his head using only one arm.

Yeah. That left a big impression on me.


Several months after my dad died we had an auction to liquidate his estate. Dad liked to buy stuff (mostly very nice stuff) so the auction was held over two saturdays and lasted the whole day each day. The set up (which we did much of ourselves) and the auction days themselves were exhausting. Not only because of the work and the expected emotional pull, but also because of the animosity from his siblings who never considered us -- his children -- a part of his family. Because he died without a will, his estate automatically went to his next of kin, which in his case was us, and there was nothing they could do about it (although they tried). His siblings were spitting mad at that and made sure we and everyone else were aware of it. So it was exhausting and we didn't have a lot of support. One woman (who is still a very good friend) made sure we all had breakfast and dinner each day. That was sooooo wonderful.


My mother was never in the best of health so I lived with her and helped her out. My main job the last eight years of her life was taking care of her (and my aunt who has down's syndrome). Because we lived in a rural area there really wasn't much in the way of social services, so you're pretty much on your own. The same woman from the story above was a constant source of support. She would often call or drop by just to check up on us and we could call her at any time of the day or night if we needed help. That meant a lot to me. And I was able to reciprocate by lending an ear and helping out when she needed it. You see her husband had Alzheimer's and toward the end needed constant care. We were able to talk to each other about things you really can't discuss with people who haven't been there. It helped both of us.


My mother was in the hospital -- we had just found out that her heart had gotten substantially worse and she needed open heart surgery (valve replacement). My sister was flying in from California (arriving at about 5 am). I was to pick her up at the airport (about 70 miles away) and then we would go to the hospital where mom was having a cardiac catheterization to give the doctors a good look before the actual surgery.

So I wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get ready to go -- and one of the dogs was obviously in distress. She was acting as if something was caught in her throat, but I couldn't feel or see anything. Well it's still really early in the morning, but I call my vet anyway. I'd been very calm and managing pretty well, but when the vet answered I just lost it. I remember wailing that mom was in the hospital and was going to have to have heart surgery and Beth was at the airport and I was already late to get her and now Cricket was sick and I couldn't just leave her. It must have been really special to hear that. (the vet was an old family friend -- I've known him, his parents, and siblings pretty much all my life) Anyway, he told me to just drop Cricket off and not worry as they would take care of her and I could pick her up whenever. (he also made sure that his folks knew about mom so we got calls ands support there too). I was so relieved. Cricket had tonsillitis and did just fine.


I've also gotten loads of cds, videos, photos, articles etc., that I would never have otherwise from many people. Those can really brighten tough times, and I appreciate every one of them and the thought and care behind them.


And I see it's nearly 4:30 am and I haven't had a good night's sleep in days, so I'm going to write up part B another time.

It's been a lot of fun remembering all these really special things people have done for me.

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Old 10-30-2006, 01:22 AM   #32
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This is what i wanted. The band is greaaat and forum rocks!!!!

hi i m new here and want to say hi to all you u2 fans out there and others too....

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Old 10-31-2006, 03:55 AM   #33
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Now for some of the nice crap I've done for people. Some of them are really small things and I'm by no means the only one to have ever done them.

-- I send lots of people cds of live gigs, plus when new cds of bands and individuals I really like come out I buy several copies of the new cd so I can give some to other fans who are having trouble finding them or can't afford them right now. I sent a package of eight or nine cds to a girl in Argentina who was having trouble finding them (as the band's work isn't distributed there and she has no credit card). One was a live bootleg and one was a burned disc (as it was long deleted and no plans have been made to re-release), but all the rest were new. She was so happy when they arrived -- made me feel great.

-- I commissioned a painting for a friend (of his son) as a surprise gift. The guy who painted it wouldn't let me pay for it however, as he is also a friend of the first guy's. So we agreed that the artist would paint it and send it to me and then I would take care of the framing and ship it on the the recipient. Right after I commissioned the piece my friend told me he and his wife were getting a divorce, so when the painting got to him it was a bright spot in an otherwise very rough period for him.

-- I know one of the members of my favourite band, so when they toured here this summer I had excellent access to them. I was able to get several things signed for people who either couldn't get to any shows or didn't get one or more band members signatures. I was also able to get several people backstage to meet at least one member of the band (generally the guy I know). One guy I know from that band's online fan forum came from Canada with his son to finally see this band live after being a fan for around 25 years. Not only did he get to meet me (which is an honour in itself ), but we (me and another friend of the band who was there with me) took them to the band's lounge where they got to chat with Steve (the guy I know) and witness all the glamour of the lounge. Also got them some signed (by all band members) souvenirs. Did similar things for a few other people at various venues. Made for special experiences for at least a few long time fans.

-- I made it possible for three friends to go to the last gig on the above mentioned band's US tour. They enjoyed it and so did the band members (who know them).

-- took Pablo on a "mission for Marty" (aka wild goose chase) thus saving him the hassle of driving "that big ass van" through Chicago in the rain on a friday at rush hour. And we didn't even get lost. (ok, that was thanks to Pablo -- good thing one of us had a sense of direction)

-- offered a friend airfare when his daughter needed urgent brain surgery (they live on different continents). He ended up not accepting it, but I think the offer and the support meant a lot to him.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:15 PM   #34
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Those were some great stories, indra. I admire how close at heart these things obviously are for you--it took me a while to think up some of my own.


When we moved to NYC after my father died, no one in my family had much time for a social life, and we didn't do the best job of supporting each other through all the changes, either. My mother took a job teaching five afternoons and evenings a week at NYU, and since my older brothers were away at college, I wound up being in charge of picking up my little brother and sister from school every day, fixing them dinner, helping them with their homework, and just in general keeping an eye on them until my mother got home around 10 PM so I could focus on my own schoolwork. I was 16 and not at all used to having this much responsibility, plus I was already miserable anyhow at school--going from the crummy little school in the small Southern town I grew up in, where everybody knew everybody and academics were pretty much a cakewalk, to a high-powered Brooklyn yeshiva where everyone walked fast and talked fast and just in general seemed hopelessly far ahead of me both academically and socially. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.

I felt bad for my younger siblings having a cramped three-room apartment in a concrete jungle to grow up in instead of all the rural open space I'd enjoyed, so I'd take them to the park most every day and watch them run around while I sat on a bench and did some homework. One day, to my surprise, one of the popular guys from school walked up, sat down next to me, and struck up a conversation about how come he always saw me walking around everywhere with these two little kids, and did I have some kind of babysitting job or something. Since I was basically the Stupid Redneck Freak, I was amazed he'd even stopped to talk to me, but I told him a little bit about my family and why we were there. He wound up inviting all three of us to his house for dinner, where my siblings were delighted to find out he had siblings their ages too. His parents were very warm, kind people, the kindest New Yorkers by far I'd met or so it seemed to me, and when his father heard that my father had been in the process of working through Talmud with us when he died and that I hadn't had anyone to study with since, he invited me to join them for study on Saturdays from then on.

Pretty soon it became a tradition for our whole family to traipse over there every Saturday. I'd study Talmud with Joel and his dad, then Joel and I would work on our regular schoolwork together, my brother and sister would play in their backyard with his little brothers, my mother would go to a women's study group with his mother, then afterwards we'd all have dinner together. We all also became close friends along the way, and we still are today. But initially, Joel and his parents were simply being kind and helpful to some people who they noticed seemed lonely and overwhelmed. We really owe their family a lot.


I got a chance to pay it forward a little bit last year when we decided to take in a couple Hurricane Katrina evacuees and their two children. I think we were all a little nervous in the beginning about how having a Christian family in a more-or-less Orthodox household was going to work out, but everything ended up fine. They lived with us for three months while the dad tried to find work, the mom spent hours on the phone trying to get some answers as to whether it would ever be financially feasible for them to move back home (ultimate answer: no), and their kids tried to adjust to living with a family of strangers and getting back into a study routine at a strange new school, with kids who spoke with strange accents and didn't have a clue about where they'd come from or what they'd been through--I could relate to that. Anyhow the dad finally found a good job and a house they could afford rent on, the kids settled into school OK, our kids wound up becoming good friends with theirs and in December, they moved out of our house and into their new home. Since they couldn't afford much in the way of furniture or home decorations and their new home was pretty bare-looking, we bought a bunch of Christmas decorations at a yard sale and helped them brighten the place up a bit. Considering the short time they were with us, it wasn't nearly as much as Joel's family did for mine almost 2 decades before, but I'd like to think we helped them find at least a little of the same comfort I found in knowing that someone out there cares and has their home open to you when you need it, no matter how shell-shocked and out of it you might have seemed at the time.

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