She’s done letting her boyfriend smack her around. It wasn't just abuse, he ran around. He was bad to drink. She didn't want to raise her child that way. 

She is scared. She is stranded. She is pregnant.

Her car is broke down on the shoulder of the interstate. And she’s having contractions.

She left home in a hurry. That’s why her clothes are in the backseat. She didn’t have time to pack, so she stuffed things into paper grocery bags and lit out for God-knows-where. 

She’s done letting her boyfriend smack her around. It wasn’t just abuse, he ran around. He was bad to drink. She didn’t want to raise her child that way.

It took six months to find the courage to leave him. She left in her old Subaru. After an eight-hour drive, she watched the sunset. She was free.

Things were going fine, until her car made grinding noises. It stalled. Then smoke. Then, a dead stop.

So, here she is.

She cries. She’s afraid. She’s angry. The contractions are getting worse. It feels like her lower back and stomach are going to snap. She wants to call someone, but there’s nobody.

This is the loneliest she’s ever felt.

Vehicles pass by the dozen. None of them stop. They don’t even slow. People.

She says a prayer. But she’s not sure who or what she’s praying to.

After all, she doesn’t believe in God. The outdated idea is something that her late mother believed, and look where it landed her. A cancer ward. A casket.

Even so, she is asking, the best she knows how. She repeats one word under her breath.

“Help.”

Then, headlights.

They shine through her window. A truck, towing a horse trailer.

An old man approaches the driver’s side. He is gray-haired, brown-skinned, bowlegged. He wears a gold belt buckle. He raps on her window.

“Help!”

The old man is small. He has dark eyes. He speaks soft words in another language. He kneels beside her. He gets to business.

“Benga,” the old man says. “Sí, se puede.”

“Huh?” the girl says.

She pushes. She bears down. Hard. She closes her eyes. Grits teeth. She moans. She weeps.

She remembers her late mother, and how bad she misses her. She remembers standing by her mother’s casket as a girl, holding her drunk father’s hand.

Feelings like that stick with a girl. They make a child feel alone.

She spent her whole life alone. It changed her. It made her feel like an outsider.

“Sí, se puede.”

Screams turn into tiny infant cries. The inside of her car becomes bright white—brighter than any domelight. It’s otherworldly. Like heaven and Subaru have become the same thing.

The old man’s face beams when he hands her the baby. He wraps the child, he places mother and newborn in the backseat. He stays with her, petting her.

She falls asleep.

She is awoken.

It’s two in the morning. There’s a deputy sheriff. It’s dark outside. The officer lifts her from her car.

It looks like a hog has been slaughtered inside her Subaru. Her baby is asleep.

“Where’s that old man?” the girl asks the deputy.

“What old man?” he says. “I found you out here all alone, ma’am.”

Alone.

Maybe you’ve felt alone. Maybe you’ve gone through hell. Maybe you’re thinking you’re alone this very moment.

Alejandra wasn’t.

And neither are you.

28 comments

  1. Connie - September 29, 2017 2:29 pm

    Wow. That’s beautiful. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Ann Marie Vickery - September 29, 2017 2:32 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  3. Gwen McGill - September 29, 2017 2:38 pm

    An angel.

    Reply
  4. Linda Carullo - September 29, 2017 2:45 pm

    Oh goodness … I have many stories of angels in my life …. we are all blessed by their presence from time to time….

    Reply
  5. Tony - September 29, 2017 2:55 pm

    Reminds me of the man who, looking back through the hard times in his life saw only one set of foot prints in the sand, says to the Lord why did you desert me during the hard times I had to walk alone. The Lord says son those aren’t your foot prints.

    Reply
  6. Jack Quanstrum - September 29, 2017 2:58 pm

    Amen! Peace be with anyone that is in that situation. Angels are all over. Thank God for that man and the story. Shalom!

    Reply
  7. Cathi Russell - September 29, 2017 3:01 pm

    You did it again. The weepy glees. Have a wonderful day, my friend that I’ve never met.

    Reply
  8. Sharon Hand - September 29, 2017 3:08 pm

    This could be an episode from “Touched By A Angel”. I believe in God and I believe that HE sends His angels.

    Reply
  9. Janet Lee - September 29, 2017 3:09 pm

    Incredible story, Sean. And it happens. Thanksfor writing it so well!

    Reply
  10. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - September 29, 2017 3:14 pm

    You sure work on my tear ducts! Beautiful story — sometimes all we need to do is ask for help. Bless you — you keep us grounded to what is important in life. Kindness, lending a helping hand, and when you feel alone, ask God for help.

    Reply
  11. Steve Scott - September 29, 2017 3:15 pm

    A powerful story. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Leon Salter - September 29, 2017 3:38 pm

    Sean, Thank you for reminding us there is more to life than wealth, politics, sports and all the other diversions that crowd out the basics of life.

    Reply
  13. Virginia - September 29, 2017 3:38 pm

    More tears.

    Reply
  14. Sandra Marrar - September 29, 2017 4:04 pm

    Another wonderful story! Thank you for making this dark world a little brighter everyday.

    Reply
  15. Susan Hatfield - September 29, 2017 4:18 pm

    Well that one sent chills down my spine. Angel unawares.

    Reply
  16. Linda Chipman - September 29, 2017 4:42 pm

    Wow what chills I had reading this one.

    Reply
  17. Peggy Anderson - September 29, 2017 4:43 pm

    What I needed to know today. Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Patricia Byers - September 29, 2017 5:43 pm

    was a man really there? or was an angel there? i believe in angels, and help when we need it the most. yes, chills down my spine too. and tears. thank you for a break again today of our world that none of us like.

    Reply
  19. rustyshouse - September 29, 2017 6:13 pm

    My my!!!!! No, NEVER alone!!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!! And thank you Sean for such powerfilled writing!!!!!

    Reply
  20. Pat - September 29, 2017 6:50 pm

    Angels walk among us…………….

    Reply
  21. Mary - September 29, 2017 9:00 pm

    Awwwwwww, so sweet. Precious…..

    Reply
  22. Debra Ashley - September 29, 2017 9:48 pm

    I love your stories so much! It’s a treat every day to open my email! Keep on keeping on!
    Debra Ashley

    Reply
  23. Debbie Prewitt - September 30, 2017 12:39 am

    Beautiful and just what I needed to read this night. Thank you

    Reply
  24. teachenglish67 - September 30, 2017 10:36 am

    “Oh I believe there are, angels among us
    Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
    They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
    To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
    To guide us with the light of love.”

    Reply
    • teachenglish67 - September 30, 2017 10:37 am

      They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places
      To grace us with their mercy, in our time of need

      Reply
  25. gary - September 30, 2017 4:50 pm

    Thank you sir! Another perfectly timed delivery! I appreciate it!

    Reply
  26. Marion - October 2, 2017 2:35 am

    Oh, how beautiful! When we need Him most, he is there and He may send an angel! Oh, how I believe. Thank you.

    Reply
  27. Mary Leach - October 5, 2017 2:39 pm

    Dear Sean,

    Every day I remind myself not to read your post at my desk so as not to make a spectacle of myself, but I do it anyway. And every day I wish that I could ever write one sentence as good as yours.
    It’s a shame that people die with their gifts still inside them. That they have to face their maker and acknowledge that they didn’t use everything He gave them. That won’t happen to you.
    Thank you for your words.

    Sincerely,
    Mary leach

    Reply

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