Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

12-13-13 RMB Happy Holidays Indeed

12-13-13 RMB Happy Holidays Indeed

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

This week tested my limits. My temper reared up after days of rambunctious boys in the mornings before school, new computers at work and frustrations with family. Today, one of the moms was free to deliver the rascals to school and I celebrate that it’s Friday.

New annoys me. Once I get used to the new equipment, programs and systems, I will enjoy it all, but for right now, I am quarreling with machines and people alike. The cool evening and a feeling of TGIF soothed me as I drove away from work. I looked around, trying to get outside of myself, crawling away from the cranky me and searching for peace. Flashing lights on the back of a vehicle caught my attention, but I was in another lane, forced to pass it and turn left.

As I drove through the light, my heart remained with the stranded vehicle. It tugged me back. After two quick U-turns, I pulled up behind the car that was stopped in a center lane. Not wanting to add to the backed up traffic, I headed for the nearest parking lot and then walked a short block back to the car.

I approached slowly, not wanting to startle the young woman inside with kids in the backseat. She wisely kept the window up, until I inquired “Are you okay?” 
She deemed me harmless and rolled down the window. “Yes, I just ran out of gas.”

“Do you need me to get you some?”

“No, my husband is on his way.” Her eyes scanned the street, looking for him I’d guess. Cars whizzed by behind me in the next lane over.

I considered waiting with her, but she was safe in the car. What was I going to do, hang out in the dark street in the middle of traffic? “Will he be here soon?” I saw her eyes scan the street again. “Is he coming from over there?” I pointed where she’d been looking.

“Yes, he’s on his way. He’ll be here any minute.”

“So you are okay?”

“Yes,” her eyes met mine, “thank you.” She seemed to relax and I realized that she was okay, but maybe she needed to realize that too and having a stranger ask the question, made her aware of it. I nodded and waved goodbye to her and the kids.

My work here was done. I remembered to shout “Happy Holidays!” as I jogged back to the sidewalk and I heard her return the sentiment.

Once home I watched Ben Affleck in Argo with my sister. Sometimes what others endure is beyond my comprehension. Stopping to assist a stranded vehicle, just to offer comfort, is minor compared to the lengths one man went to in order to save several strangers in this film based on a true story.

We all do what we can. As we give we receive. I gave a woman awareness of her own peace and she helped me find mine. Tony Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crises, as depicted in Ben’s movie. Actions taken place in moments and days, live on in our memories and hearts.

Happy Holidays indeed,


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