What is the best thing that has ever happened to you for being nice?

by Mike Harrison

When I was 24, I moved into an apartment and the couple next door were loud all the time. After putting up with it for a couple weeks, I decided to confront them and politely ask them to be quieter after noon, as I had a job that required me to work the midnight shift, so I always went to bed around noon and got up at 8pm.

I went next door and knocked on the door around 10am and a woman who was 68 answered and I introduced myself and she asked if I had come over to complain about the noise, which I said yes. She explained that both her and her husband are going deaf and they need to speak loudly to each other in order to hear each other. She invited me in and offered me a Pepsi and we just started talking about anything and everything about each other. After about 30 minutes or so we heard a loud bang in the kitchen area of the apartment so we went to investigate and we found her husband, collapsed and not breathing. I told her to call 911 and I started doing CPR on him, the ambulance and fire department arrived about 10 minutes later and by the time they arrived, I had revived him. I asked if she needed a ride to the hospital and she said no, so after the police took my info and statement for the reports, I went home and went to bed and woke up at 8pm and went next door and knocked and got no answer, so I assumed she was still at the hospital, and went to work that night.

When I came home from work there was a note on my apartment door from the lady asking me to come over. When I went over, she had cooked me breakfast and asked if I would drive her to the hospital as a police officer had driven her home around 3am because she was too distraught to drive, to which I said no problem and asked when she wanted to go. When we got to the hospital I followed her to his room in ICU and he was in decent shape and he thanked me for doing CPR, I replied that anyone would do it. He ended up staying in the hospital for a couple weeks and was released. I ended up becoming friends with this couple (and never once complained again about the noises they made every day) until they moved to an assisted living facility in another state to be closer to their children, a year later.

Flash forward 10 years and I get a phone call from an attorney in Kentucky asking me to come down to his office. I was of course wondering what was going on, so I went down the next day and when I arrived at his office, the lawyer asked me if I knew a couple by their names and I said yes, they used to live next door to me. He told me that the woman had died a couple years ago and that the husband had died a month ago and he was hired by their children to find me, and that the man had changed his will to include me in it. He handed me an envelope that had a check for $25,000 (which I did not take, instead I told the lawyer to give it to the couples kids) and he asked if I would like to meet their children and grandchildren, because they wanted to thank me personally for saving the husbands life a decade ago and the couple had talked so highly about me saving his life, and also never once complaining about the noises they made and always asking if they needed anything whenever I went to the store or running around, and asking if they would like to go out to eat or see a movie(even if it wasn’t a movie I really wanted to see, I still went to whatever movie the wife wanted to see). I met the family and the two children (who are basically my age) introduced me to their kids as their adopted brother and to this day, we are all still friends and see each other constantly, as they moved to my area shortly after as their parents had a house that they had been renting out when I met them, and it went to the kids, so the son moved into the house with his family and his sister moved up here a few years later. In fact, the oldest daughter of the son is getting married this weekend, and my family and I are going to it.

To this day, I still have no regrets about not taking the money offered. The friendships I have gotten from the couples children is more than enough to make me happy

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