Hold My Hand

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, which means I need to get some stuff off my chest before I seamlessly transition into the main point of this post. Is that okay? You don’t really have any say in this, but it’s important to make the audience feel included.

Alright, here’s the thing. When they say that a groundhog saw its shadow, does that mean its eyes actually looked down at the shadow, as if to have an a-ha moment?

What if the shadow is there, but the groundhog never looks down at it? Does that still count as seeing the all-knowing shadow? Or is it just, “Aw shucks, so close to making eye contact. Just wasn’t in the cards this year.”

This has always bothered me. Why are we harassing groundhogs, anyway? (Don’t answer; I don’t care). When the aliens come, good luck explaining this tradition to them. That’s all I have to say.

As for me, I did not see my shadow yesterday, as I made a 15-minute walk from my house to the local Subway for lunch. You know what I did see? A lot of yellow snow.

My goodness, it’s an epidemic. Where’s the weather forecast on this? What do the urination splash patterns of pets in outdoor settings tell us about the likelihood of anything?

“Yellow snow is a sign that it will be raining cats and dogs for the next twelve months. So, grab what you need and start barricading the windows because once you’re in, urine. I’m Precipitation Paul, signing off.”

Well, there you have it.

Anyway, I get to Subway…except, I don’t. I open the door to the place next to it because I’m a fool. I took one look inside, realized I was lost and needed an adult, and closed the door.

I found out later it was a Shawarma place, so if they track me down for questioning, my official story is I was cold and wanted to get sh-warm.

So I get a sub for my Dad and I – (insert story about how they asked me, “Do you want toasting?” and I replied, “No toasting”) – and make my way back outside to walk home.

I get to an intersection and there are people getting off a bus, also walking to the corner, waiting to cross. It should be noted that the snow plow had pushed a mountain of snow right to the curb, thus giving every pedestrian a calf workout when they climb Mt. Snowlympius, just to cross the street.

On top of that, the sidewalks weren’t cleared because why would they be?

As I’m waiting for the lights to change, this elderly lady comes up beside me and starts talking to me as if we’ve known each other our whole lives.

I wasn’t too phased by it because strangers always talk to me. Seriously, in a crowd of people, they’ll seek me out. I’ve got the face they’re looking for.

She was saying it’s hard to walk around and that the city needs to do a better job cleaning the sidewalks. At this point, I realized she was crossing the same way as me and there was a mound of snow blocking our entry into the road.

Sure, there was a small path created by others, but it’s not like an elephant had come by to clear it entirely. There was still some climbing that had to be done.

So I reached out my hand and asked, “Do you want some help?”

She immediately took my hand and we just stood there holding hands, until the lights changed. There was even a moment when she started to inch forward, but the walk signal hadn’t changed yet, so I told her to hold back.

It was the cutest thing in the world, man. “Totes adorbs” as the youth say.

As we crossed, the road was clear, so she let go of my hand and started thanking me for my help, and told me the mound of snow at the next curb wasn’t so bad and I could go on ahead.

That was just her Canadian guilt setting in, though. She thought she was holding me up, when really she was making my day.

I didn’t go ahead. I walked with her and when we got to the next curb, I took her hand and helped her through the snow.

The whole thing was so heart-warming, we fogged up every car window at that intersection.

She then told me her son doesn’t want her out in this weather, but she’s been stuck at home for the last two weeks and wanted to go grocery shopping.

This lady was about 5’3, but was a force of nature. No one tells her to stay home, ya hear?

She was thanking me profusely, while I kept saying it was no problem and wished her a “good day” enough times to hold her over for the next week.

Having completed the Canadian ritual of dishing out the same compliment multiple times, we went our separate ways…except we were walking the same way.

Our little final two alliance continued for eight more seconds until we finally split up.

We knew each other for about 90 seconds – if even that long – and will probably never see each other again, but for those 90 seconds we were best friends.

As I write this now, my heart is still full of joy from that encounter. I can’t explain it better than that.

I couldn’t even tell you if there were other people crossing that intersection with us, because I was so focussed on our conversation, and getting her through the snow safely.

It was like a snippet of a dream that you forget the next day, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget this.

If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that parents, the elderly, and children, absolutely adore me. Those three groups are, somehow, my target audience. It’s the crowd in the middle I don’t know what to do with.

And that’s perfectly fine with me.

I encourage all of you to do a good deed tomorrow, whether it’s for someone you know or a stranger, if only to feel the same amount of joy that I felt in helping an elderly lady cross the street.

Thanks for reading!

Written while listening to: Just For Tonight – One Night Only

I’m trying something new where, at the end of my posts I’ll include the song I was listening to, as I wrote. It’s normally just one song on repeat because I’m a psychopath. Maybe this will encourage you to do the same at the bottom of your posts, and hopefully we’re all introduced to some new music. Just an idea. It may not stick. We’ll see.

Have you ever had a heart-warming interaction with a stranger? 

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
This entry was posted in Humour, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Hold My Hand

  1. micqu says:

    When I am old, I hope a handsome stranger like yourself will help me climb snow mountains too. I think, there is something in my eye. I try being kind and helpful to people too, but to be honest, sometimes my shyness keeps me from doing it properly.
    Nice idea with the song(s). Have a great day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. rebecak says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. So this was totes totes adorbs. And I’m glad I got the full story instead of just the tweet haha.

    I like the idea of posting the song you were listening to at the end. I can’t listen to music when I blog. I get distracted by it, start dancing while sitting on the couch, type the lyrics instead of what I’m supposed to be writing. It’s a huge mess. So blogging for me is a quiet venture.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Ohhh you went with the double totes. I’ll have to use that in a future post lol

      Haha I’m just picturing that scene. For me, the song kind of melts into the background and is just there to provide a wall for my blog thoughts to bounce of off because if I sit in silence, I’ll rethink everything I’m typing. Does this make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Authoress51 says:

    That was really nice of you. And I am so glad the Yellow Snow was from pets; you had me scared there, for a second!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Becky Turner says:

    You’re such a good Canadian. I tend to avoid strangers in public, but on campus at work, everyone is really big on holding open doors for you. Even when I was a student there, it was a thing. And sometimes I’m too far behind but someone holds open the door and I do the weird walk/run to get there faster. I always hold open doors for people, no matter where I am, because it’s a polite thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That door holding thing would happen to me at school, too. I figured out a way to counteract it. If I saw that it might happen, I’d start walking slower so the gap between me and the door was too much for the person to consider holding it. I’d also look around as if I didn’t know there was a person ahead of me, so if they look back and notice me being unaware, they’ll just carry on. Please try this out and let me know if it works!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hira says:

    Absolutely loved it…the deed and your narration! ..writing this while watching Crooked House☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. randyjw says:

    Thank you for the humor, Paul. So needed that.

    Frank Zappa has a song about yellow snow.


  8. Kara's Kloud says:

    THIS IS THE MOST CANADIAN THING I’VE EVER HEARD. On the real, that was so sweet of you to think about her safety! I’m sure she really appreciated having someone to talk to and help her out. Just think, maybe that old lady hasn’t had that much contact with anyone for a few weeks and you holding her hand might’ve made up for that 🙂

    I completely get you and the whole “people seek me out in a crowd” thing. I swear that happens to me…but with old men. They just always have something to say to me hahah. Especially in the grocery store, they just love to comment on what I’m buying and doing, etc. One time, this man asked me to grab something on the shelf for him, which my 5’8 (I don’t know the metric system sorry lol) self gladly did. Then this 50 year old man was chatting me up until my even taller 6’4 father came over. The conversation was over then.

    That took a creepy turn, but yay you’re so nice Paul. Love the old ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I was think she probably went home and told her son all about me!

      LOL Kara we measure height the same way as you do. Maybe these people see us like their grandchildren and think we look friendly enough to approach. I guess that’s the ultimate compliment to us! I feel like when we get to that age we’re also going to talk to young people in public places lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kara's Kloud says:

        Are you serious right now?! I feel betrayed by the American education system because I’m pretty sure they all made us feel guilty about not using the metric system, so I thought people in other countries measured everything in centimeters or something like that ;/ whatever, there are bigger problems in this world hahahah

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is soooo so precious Paul! I’ve helped many elderly people in my life, but the one interaction that stands out was one with a younger female. I was on a bus headed to work years ago. I usually mind my own business and listen to music and stare out the window, but my eyes for some reason gravitated across from me. I saw this girl who looked perhaps a few years older then me crying, but trying to hide it. She staring at the ground with tears welding up in her eyes and eventually rolling down her cheeks. We made eye contact for a second but she looked down right away. I waited for her eyes to meet mine again. The bus was pretty full so it was hard to help her without drawing attention. Finally she looked back up at me and I mouthed the words “are you okay?”.. she looked back down at the floor and lightly shook her head no. At the next stop, the person sitting besides her gets up and exits the bus. I quickly move seats beside her. She looks up and semi smiles at me.. I then whisper to her “you alright? Can I help you at all?” Long story short, she got into a fight with her mom and her mom kicked her out of the house and she had no one to turn to. I gave her my number and told her to keep in contact with me if she wanted. Since I was headed to work I couldn’t do much in the moment. We texted throughout the whole day and I met up with her for coffee after close to my work. She eventually called home and patched things up and I stayed with her till she was ready to go home. She never knew she was older then me and it didn’t matter. But she acted as if she was a scared child and was grateful for my guidance. It felt good and it’s something I will never forget. Helping people and connecting with someone by being selfless is the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ariel Lynn says:

    I’m going to cheat because I did my good deed on Saturday. I gave blood. I have a sticker that says you have to be nice to me, which is legally binding! 😋

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lindasschaub says:

    Ah Paul – you have my heart reading this story. You make me want to give up my 53-year-old green card and move back to my homeland. Canadians are just good folks and for the life of me, I’ll never understand all the Facebook and Twitter memes knocking Canadian’s apologetic nature. The maple syrup in our veins makes us sweeter I believe. I find it easy to talk to strangers too – it takes just a few seconds of kindness to warm another’s soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I completely agree with you! (Most) Canadians just have a welcoming nature about them and are easy to talk to. I think other countries think we’re crazy for always apologizing or saying thank you, but really, nothing’s stopping them from being the same way. There’s no need to be mean to strangers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree whole heartedly with you Paul. My parents taught me to say thank you and you’re welcome as a little child and it still comes out of my mouth automatically after all these years (and it’s been a lot of years). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Dutch Lion says:

    Fantastic Paul. This story reminded me of the friendship in “Home Alone” between Kevin and his old man neighbor. You’re Kevin and your new friend plays the part of the neighbor. It’s really similar. I love it. Way to be a gentleman!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This brings to mind my friend he died about a month ago he was misunderstood by most that he encountered. Then one day he met me and we clicked. He was a teacher, a football coach, a Principle and a very generous man. The day I met him I was being introduced to everyone he was sitting in a wheel chair and he reached his hand out towards me he wanted an introduction. I walked towards him and everyone was afraid for me because they said he was very aggressive and not to get too close. I didnt feel that way so I sat down in the chair next to him and he said hello my dear whats your name he had the cutest smile. I introduced myself and we became best friends. I saw that others were impatient with him he had a disease that took over his personality, dementia. On good days he used to wait for me to show up to work and then he would say “there you are I been waiting for our daily walk lets go” we would walk around the building and he would hold my hand the entire time for balance. The last time I got to speak with him I was helping him into his bed and before I left he grabbed my hand and said “remember me as I am now talking to you, you are my friend and I will do my best to remember you.” He always said that to me whenever he would go back into his dementia stage. Every now and then he would come back to reality for at least ten minutes and then slip away again. When I went back to work just two days later he wasnt waiting for me so I knew something was wrong. When I walked on the floor I seen that he had declined to the point where he was bed bound and couldnt communicate. I sat with him for about half an hour and I knew he was going to pass soon because his breathing was changing and then just two hours into my shift he slipped away. I cherish the day we met because he was so sweet until the very end even with the disease. Hardly anyone understands but helping elderly people brings many benefits to them and to you as an individual. It was a small encounter but I hope you know your patience and kindness probably brought her alot of happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Such a sweet story! You gave him so much joy and something to look forward to. Moments like this and the one that lady and I shared, is what being kind is all about. Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ely says:

    Paul this was so sweeeett!!!! I could take a plane to Canada just to hug you. But I’d need a ladder. Because I’d be hugging your calves. Ok enough LMAO!!!!! I have really amazing encounters almost daily at work. I work in vascular surgery and my patients are all Elderly, and just need a little extra TLC And contrary to the bitchings on my blog, I am actually known for my patient care skills. It’s my strongest point… everyday is just filled with gratitude and I’m
    Honored to help for a living. GOOD FOR YOU Paul. You’re such an awesome guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It’s awful I’ve taken so long to reply to this. IM SORRY! I died at the “hugging your calves” hahaha I’m picturing a toddler grabbing on to their parent at the mall and just wailing lol. I have no doubt your patients appreciate you! The elderly are so kind, it’s people our own age who drive us nuts haha

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Squid says:

    Awwwwww I love this!!! Made my heart happy on this Valentine’s Day… Also, I’ve written the song stuck in my head or that I was listening to in my journal entries for so many years, but it’s never quite translated to my blog… Not sure why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Squid! Yeah, I was hoping others would play along and post a song at the bottom of their posts, but I haven’t seen anyone do it yet haha maybe we’re two of the few who actually have a song in our head while writing.

      Liked by 1 person

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