Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood fame once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” And he’s right.
Two days after Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to discover what it’s like to be a crash dummy in the midst of a horrific accident in a cab driving us to the Monterey, California airport. We had been with my mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephew for the holiday and were heading home. Sadly, I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. You needn’t lecture me; I have no desire to participate in the crash dummy experience again. I’m not sure why I avoid seatbelts in taxis other than they are usually hiding under a disgustingly dirty seat.
After the accident we made a noble effort to continue on to the airport and arrive in time for our flight. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful and instead spent a great deal of the day waiting for a rescheduled itinerary, which gave us lots of time to assess the morning’s events.
I’m not sure if the bouncing around the backseat affected my brain or if I was just having a normal reaction to an accident, but I’m fairly certain I wasn’t thinking clearly. At a time like that you willingly let other people make decisions for you and take care of you. As I’ve thought back over the day I am so grateful for the “helpers” God put in our path to help us.
The fireman who poked his head in the door of the cab to see if we were all right. He was a welcome sight in the midst of the confusion. He was also the one who later moved our suitcases from one cab to another in the rain.
The back-up cab driver who picked us up at the scene and got us safely to the airport, then stayed around and hovered about like a mother hen making sure we were okay.
The gate agent who efficiently rescheduled our flight and upgraded us to the Economy Comfort area. A huge blessing when our legs were a bit sore.
Another gate agent who found me a wheelchair when my legs got shaky and then wheeled me around the airport wherever I wanted to go.
The female TSA agent who offered a hug when I fell apart after going through security.
The man in the snack shop who put together a bag of ice when I asked for one for my bruised and swelling leg. I explained to him that we’d been in an accident and asked if he’d mind giving me a bag of ice. He said, “You could have just asked me for a bag of ice. I would have given it to you. You didn’t need to explain why you needed it. Now I just have to feel bad for you.” That made me laugh, and oh, how I needed to laugh.
I’m sure there were more “helpers” present that day whom I didn’t even see. I know there were angels working overtime who protected us, and everyone else involved, from serious injury. Both cars were totaled, and we all walked away from the scene with nothing more than bruises. Nothing short of a miracle! Praise God for the helpers – and the angels!