This was written by my oldest daughter for an English class during her Junior year of high school. This story took place in July 2004 as my parents and the two oldest grandkids were enroute to the annual summer camping trip that I have referenced many times before here on the blog. She made an A on her paper.
Angels Among Us
I have always believed in angels. Most people do, right? If you were raised in a religious family, or even just to believe that there is a God, then odds are you believe in angels. However, do you believe angels can ascend from Heaven to help us profound times of need? Sure, you see it on T.V. shows, and hear stories from other people. I had always thought it was possible, but it never happened to me, at least not until that summer.
We were on our way to the western part of Texas. It was nighttime, and I was in the backseat of an old white F-150 that belonged to my cousin DJ, who was seated comfortably in the driver’s seat with his girlfriend, Stacie, next to him. I can still hear vividly the walkie-talkie, and taste the beef jerky we were snacking on as we passed through the small town of Luling, Texas, on our 5-hour trip to Garner State Park.
We were following my MeMe & Pawpaw, my mother’s parents, as they pulled their brand new travel trailer with their Ford Expedition. As 18-wheelers approached, I never ceased to hear the ‘chhh’ “18-wheeler coming up on the left” followed by another ‘chhh’ sound. DJ was warning my Pawpaw so he could drift to the right and avoid getting sucked in by the big trucks as they drove by. Stacie and I were engaged in some deep conversation when it was abruptly broken by my cousin’s screaming voice. I look up. No, I am dreaming, this cannot be real. Four 18-wheelers drive by faster than my eyes can comprehend, the trailer gets sucked into the wind, it jackknives, and they start swerving uncontrollably. Though I don’t believe anything I am seeing, everything is so vivid. Sparks start flying all over the road, and the one thing I was praying would not happen was playing before my eyes. The flipping. “Oh my God!” I must have screamed a hundred times. The Expedition, with the trailer still attached, was flipping-one, two, three, four, five—at least five times in front of me. DJ drives the truck off the road and we hit a small tree. He jumps out yelling to Stacie, “Call 911!” and he loses his shoes in the waist high grass. I quickly follow him in disbelief of what I just saw. I stop at the edge of the road and let DJ continue to run, for fear of what I may find ahead of me.
I thought they were dead, they had to be. How could someone survive what I just saw? A million thoughts are racing through my mind. My grandparents that I love more than life itself were just thrown into the grassy median right before my eyes. I pray to myself and look up to see DJ running back yelling, “They’re awake, they’re okay!” I wake up and come to realization. I run to the car and tears burst from my eyes as I talk to my grandparents, covered in blood, asking for help. I run back across the highway to retrieve some clothes or rags, anything my Pawpaw could use to cover his head and stop the blood flow. Stacie is on the phone with 911, frantically trying to figure out what mile marker we are at. A trucker pulled over soon after the crash, and was by our side in an instant telling Stacie where we were and how he couldn’t believe what he saw. He was somewhat short, hadn’t shaved in maybe 5 days, and was wearing a funny looking hat. I was in a state of shock, and muttered to myself how ironic it was that we sat down in the living room and said a prayer before we left. He looked at me with a smile on his face and recited a Bible verse. I was taken aback, and he could tell by the look on my face. He said it again, and I felt so moved by him, but I was in a hurry and had no time to comprehend the words he was saying to me. He stayed the whole time, until my grandparents were taken away in the ambulances, just watching from the side of the road, as if he was just observing everything taking place. Once my grandparents were safely on their way to the hospital, we spoke again. He told me his name, one I have forgotten because it was such a strange one I had never heard before, and gave me God’s blessing. I told him how grateful I was for his generosity and continued picking up all the luggage thrown from the trailer. Before I knew it, the man was nowhere to be found. That night was the worst of my life, and ironically the best. My grandparents lived through such a horrible experience, and came out much better than we expected. My Pawpaw suffered some cuts, a broken finger, and some compressed vertebrae. My MeMe, on the other hand, shattered her shoulder bone and is still going to physical therapy, but doing so much better.
Though I cannot remember his name, or the Bible verse he so calmly recited to me in a time of panic and distress, I will never forget the man who stopped to help us that night for the rest of my life. He was there before anyone showed up, and stayed until my grandparents were taken away. His calm presence was so comforting, and I thank God he was there. Even though I will probably never see this man again as long as I live, he most certainly had an impact on me. Was he an angel? I’ll never know for sure, but I know what I believe. Do I believe in angels? Of course, I always have. Do I believe God sends them with a guiding light to your rescue in times of misfortune? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.