Little Citizens of the World

Christmas angels

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When we arrived in Paris, we had to take the Metro to get to Gard de Leon station where our overnight train to Rome left from.  There are no elevators in the train stations either.  It was almost a nightmare as I looked at the escalator and back at all of my luggage piled into the double stroller, and at my kids looking to me for reassurance.  This was going to be awful.  I was going to have to make many, many trips and leave the girls either at the top or bottom of the escalators with the bags.  It had to be done, there was nothing else to do so I sighed and started to unload the cases from the stroller.  A man came up to me and said to stop, that he would help me.  He was with his son and what must have been his baby grand daughter and he dropped everything to grab up the stroller, full of cases, and tip it back carefully to get it onto the escalator.  I would never have been able to balance it, I would have caused an avalanche and taken out every one in my path.

When I got to the bottom, he asked where I was going.  He then took all the backpacks and pushed the stroller off in the direction of my train.  I would NEVER have found the correct train.  It was a maze of escalators and the one elevator in all of France.  He took us, what felt like, half a mile underground to the correct train.  I thanked him profusely and, as he spoke perfect English, asked if he knew how many stops to get to the train station I needed.  I must have looked genuinely overwhelmed because as the subway train pulled up, he loaded us on and jumped in himself.   So here we all were, standing room only, trying to keep the stroller from rolling around, keep the kids from falling over, and trying to move enough to let people on and off even though we could barely move an inch.  A French woman standing in front of me asked, in broken English, where we were going.  I told her and as we reached our stop, she got out with us and started pushing the doll carriage for us.  The man looked at my ticket and started at a fast walk through the Metro station.  We walk/ran after him as he led us up, around and finally out into the enormous terminal.  Even he had to ask directions to get us to the Thello train that would take us overnight to Rome.  He told the ticket seller, in French, what we needed and as I thanked him and hugged him he smiled and was gone in a matter of seconds.  This man had left his family and taken us miles through the Paris Metro to make sure we were where we needed to be, and then he was gone.  I cannot even express here how grateful I am to this man, who’s name I don’t even know.  This man truly was an angel.

The French woman stayed with me for about 15 minutes after he left to make sure I was settled and pointed out my train on the arrival board.  I thanked her profusely also and wished her a Merry Christmas.  She smiled and said, “that’s my name, Joy Noelle, Merry Christmas.”  She smiled and was gone.  I just stood there stunned.  Angels.

We stepped out into the rain just quick enough for a photo.  This is all we saw of Paris.

We stepped out into the rain just quick enough for a photo. This is all we saw of Paris.

That's us, first row, second down!

That’s us, first row, second down!

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