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Kindness in a Cable Car

One of my favorite things about being sober is making memories with my friends. For years, my two best friends, my daughter, and I have been laughing and exploring the globe. This is something I never would’ve done drinking. Alcohol and drugs isolated me from those I love. They robbed me of enjoying special moments. “God moments” are what I call them now. So small, but powerful enough to jolt your senses. This happened recently on a cable car in Fira, Greece.




We were returning from a long day of hiking in Santorini and had briefly discussed walking down the stairs to return to the ship. Between my friends and me, we were afflicted with a few ailments - sore necks, hurt knees, vertigo, fear of heights, and probably several others if I’m being honest, so we opted for the easy way down - the cable car. No brainer, right? Not really. My friend, Kristi, is terrified of being in objects hanging from a wire on the side of a cliff.


After purchasing our tickets we stood in line waiting our turn to board and head down the mountain. We had enough time for Kristi to get in her head about the ride down and ponder all of the catastrophic possibilities our cable car would likely face.


Each car had a loading platform similar to a ski lift where six people waited together. That day we happened to be waiting to ride down with an angel. There were the three of us, a lovely couple from Arizona, and a woman living in England who was traveling alone. We all struck up a conversation to avoid any awkward silence. The couple was retired from the military and enjoying exploring Europe together. The woman traveling alone was born and raised in Italy but had recently moved to the UK. She was widowed and 83 years old. We all remarked on how wonderful she looked and how awesome it was for her to see the world alone.


As the cable car slowly made its way up the mountain, Kristi’s fear began to get the best of her. With anxiety escalating at a faster rate than the cars, she told our new friends she was terrified. Just as the car came to a stop in front of us and the passengers were unloading, our new Italian friend grabbed Kristi and pulled her in for a bear hug. When she finally released Kristi, she grabbed her hand, looked her squarely in the eyes, and said “Don’t worry, I am here and will hold on to you.”


We piled into the car. Kristi and her new angel friend sat on one side with the woman from Arizona while JJ and I sat across from them with the husband. We slowly began our snail-like descent down towards the Mediterranean Sea. I noticed how tightly “Angel” was holding Kristi and had a moment of gratitude for the kind people we had met on our journey.


Kristi was still trembling and to lighten the mood, I asked if we should sing a song. “Angel” remarked that she knew an Italian ballad and we begged her to sing for us. Without hesitation, she took a deep breath and began to sing in Italian. Her voice filled the cable car and we all listened as tears filled our eyes. Her voice was powerful but soothing. For a moment, it felt as though we were in a country home in Italy listening to a friend serenade us as we gazed out over the sea.


When she finished we sat in silence for a moment taking it all in. None of us could find words. Kristi wasn’t afraid. We were all at peace. When our “Angel” sang, we didn’t understand a word of the song but it didn’t matter. The emotions it brought forth were enough. She did this for Kristi. That’s how kindness works.


Safely arriving at the exit platform, we thanked and hugged our new friend and said good-bye. We never learned her name but I call her “Angel” because that’s what she was to us.


We don’t have to look alike, sound alike, or even think alike to be kind. Kindness is felt. “Angel” was proof that day and I am grateful for her and those around the world just like her.

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wheelerfamily
Jul 17, 2022

What a wonderful story about kindness! God sent “Angel” at the very time your friend needed reassurance. Kindness doesn’t cost us anything except a willingness to give. Thank you for this sweet reminder to be open to being the “Angel” someone else might need.

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Carol Lind
Carol Lind
Jul 21, 2022
Replying to

Yes! When I am “open”, it’s all around me!!! There’s a lot of kindness out there. ❤️

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