A Lesson in Hesitation

lesson-in-hesitation

{written Monday morning}

Last night was awful. Well, not all of it. I’ve been so stressed and when I’m stressed I snap easily. I forget that the kids are just being kids and when they’re in an environment other than their own home and they’re eating different foods than they normally do, they are going to behave differently. I forget that this water damage to our house and having to live in a hotel affects my husband, too. He just doesn’t show it like I do, all screaming in frustration and throwing my hands up in the air. He never loses it like I do.

I got mad at him for not wanting to come with me to get dinner. {The insurance agency took pity on us and put us up in a hotel and gave us per diem for the past five days due to our lack of stovetop plus the heat and bone dry air from the blowers and humidifiers running 24/7 to dry out the damp floors.} So he stayed at the hotel, watching a movie, while I loaded up our two littles into the car to go grab takeout.

I was stopped at a red light, dreading having to load up my arms with dinner items while at the same time wrangling the two monsters when I looked out my passenger window. I caught sight of a young Indian woman on her cell phone, shivering in the cold. I wondered what she was doing out there on the corner of a busy road. Our eyes met for a moment, but I quickly went back to staring straight ahead, hoping the light would turn green already so I could get this outing over with.

Next thing I knew she was at our window. The light was still red as I rolled down the glass and she began speaking quickly, asking me for a ride to a road I wasn’t familiar with. I hesitated, saying I didn’t know the street and that I was headed in the other direction anyway.

I was nervous to let her in the car because her story sounded sketchy. Her husband had left her at a restaurant while he went home with the baby to get the baby’s snacks which they had forgotten. She said he had been gone for twenty minutes and she was worried because when she called his phone, the baby answered and just babbled. The more she explained, the more concerned I became for her and her family.¬†My biggest fear was that he had an accident or a heart attack or seizure or something and no one was there to help.

I told her to get in, I’d take her wherever she needed me to.

She directed me down two roads, all the while wringing her hands and talking fast, almost in tears. She told me her name and I gave her mine. They had moved here only recently and she was obviously scared.

We pulled up to her neighborhood, but she wouldn’t let me drive her all the way to her front door. Maybe she was concerned her husband would be mad that she had hitchhiked home?

I didn’t want to keep her longer than needed, but I gave her my number and asked her to call or text me and let me know that everything was okay once she got home. She put my number into her phone and promised to call. She thanked me profusely and said goodbye, and as I pulled away I watched in my rear-view as she walked quickly down the sidewalk, her stride turned into a run as she got closer to the row of townhouses in the distance.

The kids had been silent in the backseat the entire time. I looked back at them when we reached a red light and tried to explain what had happened.

“That lady needed to get home to her baby and the baby’s Daddy. She needed a ride and we helped her. When people need help we should always try to help.”

Vivian was nearly asleep since they had gone swimming earlier, but Owen listened intently and smiled with his level of understanding on what took place.

And in that moment I was thankful I had gone ahead, thankful I had pushed past my hesitation. I was still worried for the woman, but I was hopeful that things were okay and that I’d hear from her soon.

We were almost to the restaurant when my phone rang and “Private” flashed up as the caller. I knew it was her. Her voice was happy and excited as she explained to me that her husband had tried to surprise her. He had flown her mom here from India and he was on his way back from the airport. I apologized for hesitating to help her. She said it was okay and just kept thanking me, she repeated¬†“God Bless you,” several times.

What a relief. I could sense that she was likely crying joyful tears on the other end of the line. Soon her husband would be home with her baby and her mom and they’d be together. I hoped it would be a long visit, maybe through the holidays. There would probably be laughter as they retold the story of how she spoiled the surprise to friends and relatives.

We got back to the hotel and I replayed what had happened to Ben, realizing if he would have been with us, she may not have approached us for a ride as the car would have appeared full. I appreciated having to lug the two kids into the restaurant, breaking up squabbles between them as we waited for the food.

I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and I believe this beautiful person showed up in my life because I needed to learn a lesson in hesitation. God Bless her and her sweet family.