act of kindness

Old 11-29-2008, 06:53 PM
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act of kindness

Before noon on a recent Thursday morning, Ruby Hebert was already having a rough day.

On the way into the south Wal-Mart, her mind set on buying antifreeze and her purse full of cash for Christmas shopping for the upcoming holidays, the 75-year-old had a brush with a large town car in the parking lot.

"I was walking, and he was making a turn. ... He didn't make a wide enough turn and he hit my leg," Ruby said.

And it hurt, she said, but not enough to knock her down, and definitely not enough to get all upset about, she told the man, who'd jumped out of his car and showered her with concern.

By the time the brief run-in in the parking lot was over, Ruby was the one calming him down, giving him a hug and reminding him that really, we all make mistakes.

"He looked at me and said 'Can I give you a hug?' and I said 'Sure.'"And then they hugged, two strangers in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot.

It wasn't the first time Ruby would hand out hugs that day. Ahead of her, things would get drastically worse before the kindness of a stranger would be the cause for thanksgiving.

She waved the man off and walked into the store to be greeted by the Wal-Mart greeter, Esther M. Keller, a friend of hers; the two had met while Ruby was shopping at the old Wal-Mart near Kirkwood Mall. They're both chatty, they admit; Ruby just likes getting to know people, and Esther, being a registered nurse, is always ready to talk.

After her chat, Ruby found her antifreeze and threw it into the cart with her purse, a neatly organized, compartment-heavy, black purse with a strap that's a little aged. Her entire life was neatly tucked inside:state identification, federal ID cards, credit cards and $2,500 cash for Christmas shopping. She'd run out of checks, Ruby said, so she withdrew cash to help with the holidays.

Ruby bought her antifreeze, pushed the cart up to cart corral next to her car, carefully put the antifreeze in and drove off to her next destination. When she parked the car, she reached over and patted the seat next to her, reaching for her purse, because that's where she always keeps it, right there where her hand can easily find it.

The seat was empty.

Panicked, she realized she'd left it in the shopping cart, outside in the parking lot. She drove as fast as she could -and as safely as possible, Ruby added -back to Wal-Mart, her mind reeling with the loss of her identification, her credit cards and the cash she was going to use to buy presents for her son and his two boys.

"Twenty-five hundred dollars is a lot of money, especially for a retiree,"she said.

She was frantic and sobbing when she got to Esther's station at the front of Wal-Mart. Pale and shaky, Esther noted. Esther was worried about her friend; Ruby has had heart trouble in the past, and Esther was concerned she was heading toward a heart attack again.

Call the police, Ruby said, in tears. I've lost my purse.

But a few minutes before, a woman in her mid-30s had handed Esther a purse, simply saying she'd found it and didn't know who it belonged to. The woman left, and Esther turned it over to her manager.

The manager brought the purse to Ruby, who immediately dug in to check the contents. The $2,500 was there.

"She was just so happy, and she just hugged me and hugged me,"Esther said. "Someone carrying that much money in a purse, I just chewed her out. I said 'Ruby, I could shake you.'"

Ruby hugged Esther, then hugged the manager who handed her the purse, and hugged Esther again.

"Tell me what else there is in the world if you can't hug people out of sheer kindness,"Ruby said.

Ruby moved to Bismarck from Steele after buying a house, but she's not from Steele. She's lived all over. She's originally from Michigan, where she worked in politics and helped campaign for John F. Kennedy, and helped put her husband, who was a state legislator, in the history books. But she'd last lived in Sacramento, Calif., working in real estate, before moving to North Dakota at the urging of a friend about eight years ago.

"It grows on you,"she said of North Dakota. "The people, the weather, just a multitude of things." She added honesty and friendliness to the list of qualities.

"Can you imagine that person, being so honest that they didn't look in my purse, they didn't do anything? She just picked it up and took it in. Anybody could've looked in there,"Ruby said, adding that she'd like to hear from the woman who returned it.

Her appreciation is indescribable, she said, and a story for the holidays, a reminder of the good stories that sometimes fall victim to the tough news making headlines every day.

"It's a good Christmas present for her,"Esther said.

It was in the North Dakota paper and i thought it was just a good feeling artical ... :ghug3
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:58 PM
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While I can appreciate a heart warming human interest
story.....and I'm glad Ms. Ruby's turned out well...

Poor lady is addled. She did all sorts of foolish things.

Hugging a stranger in a parking lot?
What if he pushed her down...grabbed her purse...drove away?
Stuck a gun in her face...hi jacked her car?
too dangerous..regardless of where you live.

Yes...I was mugged...purse stolen..getting out of a taxi.
Sober...coming home from shopping.
He broke my nose and glasses.blacked both eyes.
ER time...missed a week of work.

However...'he who steals my purse..steals but trash"

My ID was in my pocket.....
cash was in one side of my cards in the other
house keys in the middle....

Just a note of caucion as we go into a shopping season.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:25 PM
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i too carry my cash in my bra and no wallet and no credit cards. i carry a little extra change to give to the needy people on the trains who are panhandling, even though it is illegal.

i keep my keys in my pocket in case my purse gets snatched.

yes, the little old lady's story is heartwarming and thank goodness she is okay.

the other day i lost a small makeup bag with my check book and $60 in it and a woman found it and i'm supposed to hook up with her monday to get it back. she is out of town for the thanksgiving holiday weekend. the only reason i was careless is because of all the boyfriend drama lately. no matter what is ailing us, we must always be aware.

another thing i do, since i travel late on the subway in NYC, is carry a very cheap recyclable shopping bag with my very beat-up purse inside of it. i take off my jewelry too. i wear a very plain coat and right now i have only a red glove and a tan glove. so i look like a waste of time for a mugger! we have to be very careful.

the best thing i can do for myself is to be sober on this late-night ride home.

and that is what i did again tonight for the seventh night in a row. i am thankful to be home with my cat and alone with the doors locked.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:57 PM
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Sometimes it pays to be broke and have a husband who takes care of all the shopping. I never carry more than a Starbucks card that my husband puts $5. at a time on.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:16 AM
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another way to be careful

i smoke, outside in Manhattan on the streets because we are not allowed to smoke inside. if someone asks me for a ciggie, i say no ... because then i have to let my guard down to dig in my pocket or bag for a ciggie and that makes me vulnerable for a purse snatching ... if i have them handy, i'll share one, but otherwise, i don't dig around for it and give someone a chance to grab me or my stuff.

especially with hard economic times upon us, we have to be even more on guard as people lose their jobs and homes.....regular folks won't have money to give to the the panhandlers may become more aggressive....and home burglaries more prevalent.

everybody be careful and we know that being sober will keep us the safest.

keeping a low profile in manhattan is the safest bet for me anyway, since i get out of work late.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:25 AM
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Post Script to my earlier share....I did have acts of kindness

The street hookers on the cornor helped me across the street
One of them saw where my purse was thrown ..she came
running over with it..and it was a Frye leather bag.
I did not give hugs.

When I returned to work...20 DEA agents who were some
of my regular customers ....gave me a "Welcome back"
card with cash to buy my new glasses.
hugs there either...a few tears and I bought a round.

You just never know when you might need help
or where it may come from.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:39 AM
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Nice story Endzoner.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:47 AM
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thanks for the suggestions all. not to put down what your saying as its definatly important to be aware of your surroundings. My point here was just to post the acts of kindness . Fortunatily I live in a state where that sorta purse snatching and mugging seldoms happens. say for instance NY or a big metroplis city . this was North Dakota . Where Im at . ppl dont even lock there doors . and trust there neighbors. I just thought it was a heart warming story , I dnt know if i wold hug a complete stranger myself , but its still something nice after all the horrible things that went down on black Friday . Carol Im glad you recoverd from your bad ordeal . have a great day all
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