Compassion is a kind of alchemy to restore the soul.
This is my story:
It was September 2010, when after a difficult summer recovering from a shattered humerus bone, the uppermost bone in my left arm, I was stopped at a stop sign by the new Love's Truck Stop on my way to our small town. As I began to drive again, I noticed a huge green truck coming toward me in the opposite lane and a large SUV beginning to drive next to me off road in the dirt.
I got a bad feeling and was going to honk my horn, but had time only to think, not react. The man in the SUV turned his steering wheel in my direction and drove into the right front fender of my Chevy Trailblazer, causing it to lose touch with the ground and travel on two wheels toward the green big rig that was next to me now in the on-coming lane. I felt my seatbelt tighten, then somehow my car landed back down on all fours and went off the road into the gravel. A large rock flew up and shattered my windshield. I screamed.
My left window was open. As I stopped screaming, I felt a hand on my arm. A young man stood there, holding on to my arm. He said, "my name is Matthew and I will help you, just breathe." While the idiot who hit me was fluttering around saying he was sorry, Matthew called 911 and in a few minutes there was a huge response of firetrucks, an ambulance, police, and sheriffs. I almost thought I had died, but no, I learned that in a small town you get a strong and fast response. They kept asking me if I was injured, if I had a bad heart, and so on. Matthew insisted I had to go to the hospital to be checked. I sent away the ambulance after he offered to take me.
Matthew and his wife, Heather, helped me to their car. On that particular day, the emergency room in our small town hospital was very busy. I called my husband who was working in Los Angeles, normally a two-hour trip, but since he had to go to our L. A. house and pick up our dog, it would take him at least three to get up to our mountain town and to me.
I learned that Heather and Matthew lived several hours away and were on their way home from a trip to Seattle. I could only imagine how tired they were. I tried to tell them to leave, that my husband was coming, that I would be OK. They both refused.
I can still feel Matthew's hand on my arm, calming me down, helping me to think and function again. They were Christians they said, born again, and I felt their spirit. They were also just plain kind and caring souls.
My neck and back were injured and I had to stop physical therapy for my broken arm, which left me with little range of motion in my left arm. Since my right arm is pretty much useless too, this became the only lasting problem from the crash. My Trailblazer was totaled, but fortunately the man who hit me had excellent car insurance so everything was covered.
I will never forget this random act of kindness, this kind and thoughtful gift from Matthew and Heather when I was alone, hurt, confused, and scared.
Memorial Day ~ Thank You