A friend and I were talking tonight about running late. She said, “At the end of the day I made it home in one piece and I guess I was right on schedule.” She does not know that is one of my tag lines I have been using for many years. “We are right on schedule.” I hate being late for anything. I am more the kind of fella that would rather be early and have 10-15 minutes to just sit there and spend some time being still. Have a smoke and a quiet thought. I used to be an hour to work early every day. Just so I could have that coffee and time to get my head in gear. Like a subtle non dedicated time to meditate.
The conversation jogged my mind to 3 or so years ago. I woke late for work and anyone who lives in the greater Seattle area knows that 530am wave of traffic. The commute from Arlington to Seattle is about 45 minutes in the morning if you beat that 515 to 530 wave of traffic. IF you find yourself lucky enough to participate in the wave that 45-minute drive now just became 2-3 hours of sitting there next to a million Subaru wagons full of people eating trail mix and drinking pumpkin spice latta’s. Quite the experience.
That morning I woke up late and had the absolute pleasure of surfing the commute. I got to work, prechecked my truck and hauled ass to the Job in Seattle. I got the last load off the jobsite and by the time I got off work I hit the wave home. I was 20 minutes late to my counseling appointment because I was late getting off work. I was meeting a friend at a meeting after Counseling and I let them know I was going to be late for that as well. I must ranted for about 15 minutes about being late in my counseling appointment and traffic. Much to joy of my divorce counselor I reckon.
After I left counselling, I went over to meet my friend at the meeting place. I pulled into the parking lot across the street. Got out of my car and as I turned around to hit the remote to lock the car. I saw out of the corner of my eye a jeep across the parking lot with its door open and a person laying on the ground next to it. I did a double take and sure as shit there was a person laying on the ground next to a brand-new Cherokee with passenger side door open. So, I ran across the parking lot.
When I got there I found an older lady laying on the ground. I looked in her Jeep and her purse was sitting on the passenger seat. That answered my question if it foul play or not. I rolled her over and shook her. She was out cold. It was February and in the mid 20’s outside. I could see my breath from running across the parking lot. I could not see hers. I shook her leg to see if I could get a response, I felt her pulse, nothing. I stuck my ear to her mouth and nothing. I yelled, HELP! Nobody was around. So, I started doing CPR and call 9-11. They were asking me questions as I was doing chest compressions. About 3 or 4 minutes went by, right before the ambulance got there. She sat straight up, wrapped her around me and started sobbing. Clinging to me like her life depended on it. She started saying, Im sorry! Im soooo sorry! Im sorry! I didnt mean too!!!! Huge sobs of tears streamed down her cheeks. over and over saying Im sooooo sorry! I just held her tight and said Im right here. I’m right here. You are safe! I won’t let go! its Ok! You are are ok! Its Ok! I’m just so happy you made it back. I just held her while she cried and clung to me.
A few moments later the Ambulance and Police showed up to the parking lot, took over and loaded her into the ambulance. I went to her car and grabbed her purse, picked up her keys off the ground, locked the jeep and handed them to the paramedic inside the ambulance. Who told me she had most likely went into diabetic shock and had a stroke. I told him I was just glad I was late all day. He looked at me like one of those pug dogs when your talking to it. I said, Never mind I was on time for her. That was the important thing. He just smiled, said well done. You saved her life. Shut the door and they drove off towards the hospital.
The police said they didn’t need anything from me got in their car and drove off. I stood there for a minute and let it all sink in. Thank God I was late all day or I wouldn’t have been there for that lady. I went over to meet my friend and he said, you ok dude? I said I have never been better. I guess I am right on schedule. He laughed and said what was all that about. I shrugged and didn’t say anything.
The whole day, I had been bitchen, complaining under my breath and being frustrated about running behind. At the end of the day, like my friend said tonight, “I was right on schedule.” Right where I was supposed to be when God needed me to be there despite my efforts to not be.
I never knew her name. Doesn’t matter. Does it matter if she was a White, Black or Hispanic woman? Christian, Muslim or Buddhist? Good mother, Good wife, bad wife? Cheated on her taxes? Lied to her best friend that day? Ran a yellow light? Yelled at her dog? Parked in a handy cap spot? Nope. None of that mattered. All that mattered was when her body failed. I was the answer to someone’s prayer for her. It had occurred when I got home that night. Someone, somewhere, loved her and prayed for her. Maybe it was her neighbor, her kid, someone at the grocery store standing next to her, her mother, her friend from work??? I may never know. She may never know. It started there. It was not about me. It was about that person’s prayers. God knows and God herd someone’s prayers. That’s forsure.
I pray for people every day. I write a gratitude list every day and rarely do I put myself on it. I list 20 different people on that list that I love care about. Chances are if you are reading this. You have made that list at some point. I also pray for the person as I write them down. I have never spoke to some people on my list. Like Georges wife Elaine. However, I know he is the man he is today because she is in his life. I’m grateful for George so I’m grateful for his wife too. Its my hope and prayer that IF any of you. Any of you, who are on my list or happen to be reading this page right now. IF any of you have a moment like the lady I met in the parking lot?
Someone else’s life is just messy enough, or is running late enough or having just enough of a bad day to be……. right on schedule…. for you.
Remember, No matter how crazy this world is with the Pandemic, Political shit show, and so many people hurting not being able to work and loosing their business’s. Even if you don’t believe in God or Prayer. You quite possibly are the answer to someone’s prayer. Someone, somewhere, you may never meet or even know there name is praying for you to be there for someone they love so very much. We are all in this life together whether we think so or not. Its time we start acting like it.
I truly hope you have a wonderful day.
Cue: ~ Millionaire~ by Chris Stapleton.