I had a rather interesting thing happen to me on Sunday night. Sophie and I had gone over to my storage unit (technically the storage unit belonging to my office that I just happen to utilize as well) to gather some of my Christmas totes. That night was exceptionally foggy. In fact, there was so little visability on the road that Sophie was nervous the whole time we were driving.
After we had loaded the car, (technically a friend's car because mine wouldn't have held the 13 totes I brought home) we headed back to our house. As we drove up our street, I noticed a man walking along the sidewalk. He was wearing blue coveralls with short sleeves and no coat, which was odd to see at that hour on such a cold, foggy night. I tend to be a little like a child these days when it comes to "stranger danger," so seeing him made me a little nervous.
I pulled into the driveway, stepped out of my car, and the man turned and approached me. He was old, walked with a bit of a hunch and leaned up against the car as he began to speak. He said, "Do you know if I am going north?"
I told him that he was actually heading south and then I pointed to the north. (Maybe I was right, maybe I wasn't, but I was certain that my north was closer to true north than his was, for sure.) He said his name was Hyrum Draine, almost as if he needed to say it right that minute before he forgot it. I asked him where he lived, who he lived with, if he knew his address, why he wasn't wearing a coat, and he just looked at me, very confused and said, "I don't know where I am."
I invited him inside my house. He was clearly outside by accident and I am sure whoever he lived with was worried, as was he. Hyrum stumbled and fell as he got to my front stairs, so I took his hand and brought him inside. I told him he needed to sit down and get warm and we would figure out how to get him home.
He continued to talk to me, paying absolutely no attention to any of the questions I was asking and making no sense whatsoever. I called a neighbor, John Brown, and asked if he could come help us out. I wasn't quite sure what to do.
When John arrived, he joined us in the living room and called 911. The man looked at John and said, "My name is Hyrum Draine." 911 had just received another call about Hyrum. It was his wife and she was looking for him.
John stayed with us until the police arrived and then they waited out front for Hyrum's wife to come. Sophie sat in the chair across from Hyrum, I sat on the piano bench close to him and he just continued to talk to me. He told me that he used to fly and then talked about other people he knew who flew. He talked about cats and how bad it is to get lost. I would ask him a question and he would repeat himself, telling me about how he used to fly and cats and how he thought he was going north but sometimes he doesn't know where he is.
After about 15 minutes he said, "It would be nice if someone familiar would come for me," and within seconds, the front door opened - in walked John, the police officer and Hyrum's wife. The countenance in that man immediately changed. He got a big smile on his face and with a little bit of a struggle, stood up out of the chair and took my hand and said how nice it was to have visited with me and said he appreciated how good we were to him.
Hyrum brought the spirit of Christmas into our home that night. He was a kind, gentle man who needed help. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to help him and feel grateful that I had that opportunity. It reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it in the first place - to honor the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. To remind us of the glory of his birth, the wonder of his life, and the sacrifice of his death. It is a time of year when perhaps we all act a little more like Him - more giving, more tolerant of others, more thoughtful ... maybe a little bit friendlier.
I LOVE the feeling this season brings.