That’s how I would have described my morning.
Very, very busy.
After getting myself and my kids ready for the day, I dropped my daughter off at her school. My son and I hurried to the grocery store. We hurried and did some shopping. And we hurried and loaded our groceries in the car. I glanced at the clock and realized that we had just enough time to get to preschool (his school, my work). I put the car in reverse, took my foot off the gas … but the car didn’t roll back as it normally would. Surprised, I checked to make sure I wasn’t still in park. Still in too much of a hurry to process what was going on, I wiggled a few things around and began to push down on the gas pedal.
“MA’AM!” I heard from outside my car.
Startled, and a bit nervous, I rolled my window down a crack.
“Ma’am, you have a flat tire.”
I started blankly at the man speaking to me, a total stranger. Then, sheepishly realizing the reason that my car hadn’t moved when I took my foot off the brake, I turned off the engine, hopped out of the car, and looked at my completely flat tire. I tried to think quickly, but this man stepped in and did the thinking for me.
“There’s a gas station right across the street. If you head over, you can fill up the tire, and that should get you to a tire shop.”
I thanked him for his kindness and carefully drove across the street. I got out, fumbled through my wallet for a few quarters, and glanced down at my skirt and dress shoes (my work clothes), wondering what I’d look like when I was finished with this. Suddenly, I realized that there was someone standing next to me.
It was him.
“I’ll help you with that, ma’am.”
I was at a complete loss for words. I fumbled out a “thank you” and watched as he tried to fill my tire with air.
And then I watched, when that didn’t work, as he tried to put on my spare tire for me.
And then I stared in complete amazement when he realized that my spare tire was flat too, and instead of leaving, took both of my tires, put them in his own car, and drove them to a tire store down the street. He returned with two repaired tires. He put on the “real” tire and put my spare back in the trunk.
Now, those who know me know that I am not often at a loss for words. But I was completely stunned. To let someone know that there is a problem with their car is thoughtful. To try to help is kind.
To take thirty minutes out of your morning to make sure that a woman and her small child are on the road safely again?
Who DOES that?
My new friend Michael, that’s who.
“Sir – I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know how to thank you for your kindness.”
“It’s fine. I just … I can’t see a lady who needs help and NOT help her.”
All morning, tears were in my eyes as I thought of this man who I’ve never seen before and might never see again. His kindness touched my heart, and his simple words reached deep into my soul.
Michael, you might forget today. You might not think again about the woman you helped this morning.
But I won’t forget you.
I won’t forget your courtesy.
I won’t forget your coupassion.
I won’t forget the way I felt as I was reminded, once again, that there are good people in the world. They’re all around us.
And I hope we can all learn from your example. I hope that the next time we see someone who needs us, we will remember Michael and we will decide, “I can’t see someone who needs help and NOT help.”