Posted by: Modern Mom | July 11, 2012

Heroes Among Us

Have you ever had someone do something for you that felt like a “rescue”? Something that seems like a small gesture to one person might actually save the person they do it for in a really big way. I’ve had it happen for me and I know the lasting impression it leaves.

My mom and I were on our way home from a Rodan + Fields event in Portland late one evening. It was late fall, but by some small miracle it wasn’t raining. That would have made the story that much more exciting, but it wasn’t. I was clipping along at 70mph on I84 which is an extremely narrow, no shoulder freeway. Basically a concrete funnel for 6 miles. When suddenly something went wrong with my steering.

I was in the left lane, because that’s the one that was made for me. (yes, I’m one of those drivers.) I wrestled my car through three lanes and off to the side where there was about six feet of space between the traffic and a concrete wall. We couldn’t get out of the car because of all the traffic. I stuck my head out the window and saw that my front driver’s side tire had blown.

My first thoughts were, “I don’t know how to change a tire.” and “Modern Man is out of town, so who do I call?” So I said a silent prayer as my mind raced and I dialed my dad, who was sitting with the kids. As I began to tell him what was going on, and that we would probably be a while, my prayer was answered.

We hadn’t been there 3 minutes when we saw a truck pull ahead of us and put on his reverse lights. I was still on the phone with my dad. “There’s someone stopping. No way. Is he coming to help us? Dad, I think we’re OK. I’ll call you back.”

The man hopped out of his truck and yelled to me, “I’m going to change that tire!” Amazing.

So, with traffic zooming by and him dangerously positioned on the drivers side in the dark, he proceeded to change my tire.

My mom, who was out of the car and trying to get drivers attention as they sped by so that our rescuer wouldn’t be hit by a car, tried to give him some money. He told her he wouldn’t take anything. He was a Mason, and this is just what they do. Help people.

He was definitely our hero that night. He saved us from a situation that we couldn’t save ourselves from. I will probably never forget him. And I often wonder if he knows the impact he had on us.

This is the kind of thing that restores my faith in humanity. People stepping out of their comfort zones, taking time to help a stranger, and doing things that have amazing impact for what might seem like little effort. I have spent the past months trying to pay it forward in some way, in hopes that the universe will collaborate and pay him back somehow for the kind and brave gesture of that evening.

What kinds of heroism have you experienced?

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