Guardian Angels Come Out of Woodwork
"What a beautiful morning," I thought to myself as I drove to church on a recent Sunday.
The sun was shining, the temperature a perfect 60 degrees, my 8-year-old was behaving like a little church-going gentleman ... everything seemed right with the world. Even the pretty dashboard lights in my car greeted me with intensity. All of them: the gas light, the brake light, the battery light, the check engine light and the ABS light. (What in the world is the ABS light?)
A few had been lit up for a while, but I had chosen to ignore them. The reds, oranges and yellows of the dash seemed to be getting a little angry, and they wanted attention. I could no longer disregard them. So I did what any girl would do: I called my dad.
"Take it to my guy," he said. I didn't even know he had "a guy." But of course, I made the appointment for the following day.
Immediately following the church service, we hopped into the car with the assumption that it would not give me any trouble. I'm sure you all know what was coming next ... "Click, click, click" said the car when I turned the key. Even though my heart nearly jumped out of my chest, I tried to remain cool for the child's sake.
"Oh, no biggie," I said. "I'll just get a jump and be on my way."
Which is exactly what happened. A couple of generous church friends got their jumper cables and with one turn of the key, it started right up.
"Bless you, have a great day!" I said as I drove away, only to make it about 200 feet until the car died again.
AHHH! This is not good. I'm in the middle of U.S. 1 and my car will not go. Just as my son started to panic, yelling "Mom, why are you stopping here?" the Good Samaritans came out of nowhere. There was Mrs. Zell, my son's second-grade teacher, a stranger who was clearly in a hurry, and a few others I did not know.
Wow! I was completely overwhelmed at the way these people worked together to get my car out of traffic without even needing me to tell them anything was wrong. It was as though they were sent there on a mission, and they knew exactly what to do. Thank God, because I hadn't a clue.
I at least had enough sense to contact Advance Auto Parts and ask if someone could come to my poor car and see if it needed a new battery. A few minutes later a very kind Anthony showed up with a contraption that tests batteries. To my surprise he said, "Your battery is fine."
Oh great, well now, I have to buy a new car! I assumed if there was nothing wrong with the battery then the entire engine must be broken. A little dramatic perhaps, but my favorite thing about this car is that it is paid for. I really don't want a car payment.
"No, no," said stranger No. 12, "it's just the alternator. Go to Advance Auto Parts, buy an alternator and I will replace it for you."
Seriously? What? So, I did just that. A friend took me to get the alternator. Stranger No. 12, also known as Glen, replaced the bad one and just like new, it started right up! "It's a miracle," I thought. Voila! All the alluring dashboard lights went away.
"That's a good thing," Glen said.
I'm not sure what I would have done if not for all these amazing people. To Glen, the awesome mechanic: Thank you for renewing my faith in mankind. I promise to do my best to pay it forward. To Mrs. Zell, the second-grade teacher: You are an angel that was sent to take care of my son by keeping him calm. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to the dear friend who was there for me and kept me relaxed the whole time. If not for you, a serious panic attack was sure to endure. You are a true Godsend. Hopefully, I will be able repay you all someday.
And for those of you who don't know, those dashboard lights should be taken seriously, lest you end up in the middle of U.S. 1 with nothing but the sound of click, click, click and your pounding heartbeat.
Karen Triplett is a classified advertising representative with The Pilot. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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