Many of us have had to ask for help at some point in our lives.
Oftentimes, it is a challenging thing to do, even in our most difficult circumstances.
However, when help is asked for, good people show up.
Erynn Brook was on her way home from work when she encountered a woman. The story of what happened next quickly went viral.
Sometimes a happenstance meeting can shift someone deeply.
I’m waiting on kitty ultrasound results and trying to distract myself a little bit so I’d like to tell you a story… https://t.co/pyAWNhvSop— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400160.0
I was on my way home after work. It’s about 10pm, and the subway is pulling up to my stop. I’ve been stressed about… https://t.co/AvzZJTB4wK— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400215.0
She’d been looking at me and I hadn’t really noticed. Her lips were barely moving, but I took out one earbud and sa… https://t.co/VuxXcIC25T— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400291.0
Many would have ignored this girl, but Erynn decided not to.
At the top it said “my seizure plan”. I blinked at it then looked up at her. “Are you having a seizure now?” I aske… https://t.co/h6SzAgGMn4— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400391.0
She mentioned her stop was 3 stops away. I asked if she would like me to ride with her to her stop. She said she di… https://t.co/Rd4a2Ve0cm— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400531.0
Then, only a laminated page to guide her, Erryn jumped into action.
Then she seized. She had already moved her purse out of the way and folded her scarf in a place to catch her head a… https://t.co/ffVnVSfbYB— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400652.0
This seizure plan paper is like an anchor. It says what to do, what not to do, how long seizures might last, what m… https://t.co/CkW6OXwabF— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400903.0
Then she offered to stay with the girl until her stop.
I tell her I’m just going to ride the subway with her to her stop, and if we miss it, don’t worry, I’ll sit with he… https://t.co/MaVSXQoNy0— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554400998.0
She mentions that she needs to get a prescription refill. I say prescription refills are so annoying. She nods a bi… https://t.co/DYaa2Q89r8— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401087.0
She was flabbergasted by the vulnerability of having a seizure disorder.
It says she gets these seizures 1-4 times a day, and each episode lasts 10-60mins. Just think about that for a se… https://t.co/LfxIgzMLgR— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401269.0
She comes out close to her stop. I ask her if she wants to get off. And she says “I’m just so tired, I want to go h… https://t.co/MZmVp4YOA3— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401409.0
She places her folded scarf on the back of the chair and positions herself just so. She tells me “if it gets real b… https://t.co/d8KaC2OwCd— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401510.0
Then, Erynn decided to get the girl home.
I’m a big sister and a woman in the world. I’m either sitting with her until she’s completely ready to get up and w… https://t.co/ohhpQxkMS3— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401702.0
She just needs to make it up the stairs. She says her condo is right outside the exit. Offer to walk her up the sta… https://t.co/Aaxz4meNWy— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401812.0
We get to the barrier and I say. “I’d like to walk you to your building door if you’ll let me.” She protests again,… https://t.co/iqHZMXTUzU— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554401937.0
She tells me that one of her seizures yesterday happened at the gym. THE GYM! I don’t even go to the gym and I have… https://t.co/QyX5Q2WDIS— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554402191.0
I walk her to her building door and open it for her. She says “thank you for staying with me and getting me home sa… https://t.co/TwqibpJ6XH— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554402310.0
This brought up many feelings about the ways in which we interact with each other, and what few defense mechanisms this girl had.
I have so many feelings. And they keep coming back to that scarf. That’s the image I see. How it was pre-folded bef… https://t.co/stPIyoRqHL— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554402446.0
She was fully prepared to go it alone. I didn’t help her, not really. My job was to make sure that no one interrupt… https://t.co/Z3P1kTNQKI— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554402511.0
She called us to action.
It’s not a story about me being a good person. It’s not a story about how brave she is (though she clearly is), it’… https://t.co/ttvbCudtQw— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554403030.0
We’re taught to call 911 when something looks bad and we don’t know what it is. And if I hadn’t heard her, if she d… https://t.co/i5RA76ciSI— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554403172.0
And this girl who’s just trying to go home because this is her daily life, would’ve been burdened with loud noises… https://t.co/faWMxDGmkY— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554403227.0
This girl has seizures more reliably than I eat breakfast. And she’s just out there living her life as best she c… https://t.co/mkHeT5wAQ5— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554404264.0
Before addressing larger and more systemic issues.
[cn/tw: assault] There is no policy or program structure that addresses the high rates of assault for disabled fo… https://t.co/Mjgx0XIgXM— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554404838.0
We built a world where an 18 year old who gets seizures 1-4 times a day, is taking the subway home, alone, and she… https://t.co/08opRK8XKQ— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554405670.0
We built a world where I could hit an emergency alarm button and walk off at my stop, feeling like I just saved thi… https://t.co/tCwLIVedsT— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554405932.0
Don’t get me wrong, emergency services are great and we should use them when we need to. That’s not the point of th… https://t.co/7zuYDh1mwg— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554406100.0
“She looks nice.” It took maybe 30 minutes out of my day to make sure she got home. And she didn’t need me at all… https://t.co/WmoZzbIN4u— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554406369.0
She noted the difference between accommodating someone and truly helping them.
Accommodation is the bare minimum. If I sat with her until my stop and then left, that’s what accommodation looks l… https://t.co/PHIKjjTDop— Erynn Brook (@Erynn Brook)1554406584.0
Many people's hearts were warmed.
@ErynnBrook Thank you for being there. ♥️— prettycrabby (@prettycrabby)1554426058.0
@ErynnBrook Thank you so much for the reminder that compassion can build bridges and touch lives in ways that money… https://t.co/SrpmACESMC— Jeff Bray (@Jeff Bray)1554425828.0
@ErynnBrook I’m glad she found a safe person in you.— Sharon Villagomez (@Sharon Villagomez)1554427047.0
@ErynnBrook Thank you for writing this. Thank you for helping.— Jane Worley (@Jane Worley)1554430747.0
This is how you show up for people.