Beryl Wallace probably has more “Chicken Soup for the Soul” moments than most of us. Unlike the two Biblical religious leaders who passed by on the other side of the road when they came upon an injured Samaritan man, Beryl invariably moves in close.
A few days ago she noticed three teens with heavily loaded bikes in front of the Dollar Store on the main street in Princeton. They were obviously on a serious expedition.
Later, on her drive home on the winding and not smooth Old Hedley Road, she came upon them again. One had fallen and his bike was lying in the middle of the road. They appeared to be in a state of uncertainty, not knowing how to deal with this crisis. Beryl had no first aid kit and might have been excused if she had decided she couldn’t be of assistance. That isn’t the way she is wired. She pulled over. “Do you need help?” she asked. She quickly realized the young man had serious abrasions and was in pain. Beryl flagged down a vehicle, hoping the driver had a First Aid kit. She didn’t.
When the next car came, she got lucky. The driver had a First Aid kit and also some experience with situations like this. After causing wincing with a generous dose of iodine, she bandaged the scrapes. Very impressed with the woman’s skill, Beryl asked, “are you a nurse?”
“No,” the lady answered. “I’m a mother.”
Beryl then asked the boys their age and where they were from.
“We are all from Coquitlam” the fallen rider said. “I’m 17 and my friends are the same. We are in grade 11. We have come through the mountains on the Hope-Princeton Highway, on our way to Penticton. This is the farthest away from the city we have ever been.” It’s not surprising they appeared lean and very fit.
Touching one of the bandages, the young man who had suffered the scrapes then asked, “will I be able to have a shower tonight?” Beryl assured him this would be possible. “Just start riding now, and in about 15 minutes you’ll feel better.” She then drove home, picked up more bandages and 3 bananas and found them again.
They expressed their great gratitude to this angel who had unexpectedly come upon them and stopped to help. “Is there anything else I can do for you? she asked. “Yes,” the young man with the scrapes said. “Could I have a hug?”
For Beryl, it’s a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” memory she will always treasure. For many of us, it is an example of how to be a good neighbour even to those we do not know.