Kind act of 35 years go brings a call of thanks

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 19, 2011

By Ruby G. Beaty
For the Salisbury Post
On Sept. 12, I read the ěTry a little kindnessî letter to the editor by Laura Jollay.
In my universe it is not surprising the letter was printed that day, because I believe all things are connected and timely. However, because of it I was not only inspired but compelled to respond.
For the past several weeks as the preparations for the 9/11 memorials infused our consciousness, I have gone through a myriad of emotions. But as God would have it, I wasnít done yet.
Sunday morning, on Sept. 11, while watching coverage of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of the falling towers of the World Trade Center and the ensuing heartfelt memories from the loved ones of other victims, longing just to hear my nephewís name, my phone rang. The caller asked if I was Ruby Beaty.
ěYes, I am,î I replied.
ěDid you used to work at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury?î
ěYes, I did.î
Ordinarily, I would have pulled the caller up short and asked, ěJust, what is it you want?î The better part of valor made me hold my tongue.
ěDid you work the surgical floor?î
I again replied in the affirmative.
ěDo you know the name Sara …?î
ěYes, I do.î
Sara introduced herself. She said that she would soon be 90 years old. She proceeded to talk and carry me back more than 35 years. She said that she remembered an act of kindness that I had afforded her all those years ago and could almost attest to the fact that she had told that story more than 500 times. She made me remember. I remembered it as being insignificant, requiring no special effort, and not something unusual for me to do.
Yet, 35 years later, she had called while I was mired in the loss of an incredible life-loving, young man who was an educated, ambitious partner in a major banking firm and still found time to be a big brother and mentor to other young disadvantaged kids ó gone before he would ever father his own.
Sara said that after reading the Sept. 11 article by Mark Wineka about Todd Isaac and his aunt Ruby (ěTragedy of 9/11 hit close to home for one auntî), ěI knew that you had to be the Ruby that I remembered.î She was certain enough to make the effort to find me. So, without fanfare, a lovely article of remembrance in our local newspaper brought a blessing to my doorstep.
An act of kindness paid forward 35 years ago was returned to me in the form of an uplifting memory from a 90-year-old who can and does remember so lovingly as to seek me out to return it at such an auspicious time.
I am now a senior citizen myself and just told my son that one of the perks of getting older is that I can see beauty and the spirit of God in so many things. We could all try a little more kindness and see some of the beauty. How do you see it?
Thank you, Mr. Wineka.

Ruby Beaty lives in Salisbury. Her nephew Todd Isaac, a mortgage banker and partner with Cantor Fitzgerald, was among the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.