The Kindness of Friends
By: Connor Lenahan
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” – Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire
With a slight change to Blanche’s quote you get how I have been able to live much of my life. While the help of strangers with regards to my wheelchair has been greatly appreciated, I truly have always depended on the kindness of my friends to accomplish anything in this world.
There’s a good chance you were aware of what happened to me yesterday if you read this blog at all or attend Boston University. If not, you can become more well versed here. The Sparknotes version of the story: My chair was taken from outside of my friend’s dorm and was missing for about thirteen hours yesterday. Thankfully, as evidenced by the photo above, the chair has been safely returned to me.
This whole situation came out of a misunderstanding. Someone had walked a friend home past my chair on Monday night and saw the chair outside an hour later when he returned. In his admittedly drunken state he assumed the chair had been abandoned by someone else. He elected the smart idea would be to take the chair back to his dorm and not leave it out exposed to the elements. While he didn’t know that I was just right inside the building and the chair was not in fact abandoned, he nevertheless made the smart decision. Given the best option would have been to leave the chair be, however I has otherworldly happy to hear he had the chair safe and sound in his dorm rather than my assumption that the chair had been ditched into a ditch, bush, or (God forbid) the Charles River. He brought the chair back to me at Warren Towers, apologized for taking it, and that was that. Like I said yesterday, I was not mad at all. I was extremely happy that it had been safely recovered and the worry for my family and I could be over.
This story has now become two separate things. First is obviously a cautionary tale for myself. I need to keep a better eye on my chair. My assumption, which I had written here only days ago, that nobody would take my chair, was wrong. Thank God the ending to said cautionary tale was a happy one. Second, the story is now going to stand as one of the most bizarre moments in my nineteen years on this Earth. In the most backwards way possible, I’m happy it happened. Selfishly, it gives me a fun story to tell, but it also proved something larger to me.
I’ve been blessed with a countless amount of people in my life that have offered to help me with anything I would ever need. This has come in handy with multiple wheelchair related things, but never a search and rescue mission. Honestly I never thought that would have to be the case. I couldn’t have been happier than to be wrong. I published the article yesterday and asked simply that people share the word to try and find the chair. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was not what ended up happening.
The article was read thousands of times in the hour or so after I posted it directly because of my friends sharing the link. I owe hundreds if not thousands a debt of gratitude for helping me when I needed it the most. I panicked yesterday. I was sick to my stomach about making such a dumb mistake that led to the chair’s disappearance. It was my fault. Thankfully my friends came to support me, as they have countless times in the past, and got my chair back safe and sound by lunchtime.
I’ve never been more sure that I live a blessed life than yesterday. To have so many people come to your side and help you is truly humbling. I thank each and every one of you from the depth of my heart. What could have been an infuriating, expensive mistake on my part became a miracle because of my friends. Yesterday was just another example that I have been gifted with incredible people around me. I cannot even begin to elaborate on how much it means to me that people care enough to help. Just know that it’s moments like this that make me happy to be alive, happy to be a Terrier, and strive to be a better person.
I’m blessed. I’ve always depended on the kindness of friends. Yesterday they came through and saved me.
Thank you a million times over.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org