She is scared. She is stranded. She is pregnant.
Her car 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. Nobody stops to help anymore.
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 The outdated idea is something that her late mother believed, and look where it landed her.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. Worm food.
Even so, she is asking, the best she knows how. She repeats one word under her breath.
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!” she says.
The old man is small. He has dark eyes. He speaks soft words in another language. He kneels beside her. He gets to business. He is going to deliver her child. He has rough hands. He has the confidence that all farmers haves men who are used to working with animals.
She is in the birthing position. Legs spread. Knees up.
“Benga,” the old man says. “Sí, se puede.”
“Huh?” the girl says.
“Sí, se puede.”
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.
Something wakes her.
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.”
“But someone helped me,” she says.
The cop just looks at her. “Well, you’re alone now, ma’am.”
Maybe you’ve felt alone. Maybe you’ve gone through hell. Maybe you’re thinking you’re alone this very moment. Alejandra wants you to know that she wasn’t.
Therefore neither are you.
Ed (Bear) - August 30, 2022 7:57 am
My wife left. She wanted a divorce. She didn’t love me any more. I was ready to end my life. There was a .357 in the drawer. A voice in my head told me to draw a picture. The voice said I was a good artist… it said I shouldn’t waste my gift. So I sketched the drawer handle. It looked pretty good. The voice said don’t stop there. Make it grow. So I did. Maybe it was the bipolar… maybe it wasn’t.
Laura King - August 30, 2022 9:32 am
Glad you listened…sometimes that’s all it takes. Keep drawing!
Suellen - August 30, 2022 1:09 pm
Ed: I ran a support group for separated, divorced, and widowed people for several years. I can tell you that in most instances the spouse is unhappy and they look around themselves and decide you must be the cause of their unhappiness. They break up the home and the family and may for awhile feel euphoria but that unhappiness will eventually follow them into their next relationship. That old break up line “it’s not you, it’s me” is most often true. I’m glad you decided to stay with us. I pray you find fulfillment in your writing and art and that God give you happiness and peace.
Karen Elizabeth Godbey - August 31, 2022 11:49 am
Suellen, …. THANK YOU for your comments to Ed. They were comments to me. I needed them. After several years of “trying to get on with my life” without any clear reasoning, your comments have lifted the fog and given me closure. God Bless you for commenting, and to Ed “Bear”, thank you for having the strength to share.
Harriet White - August 30, 2022 2:00 pm
Wow Ed. I’m so glad you listened to that voice.
Debbie - August 30, 2022 9:16 am
I am feeling very alone this morning. My beloved dog passed Sunday evening and I am feeling very alone in our house. Thank you for your words.
Pat - August 30, 2022 2:37 pm
Debbie please get another dog today…I know you probably don’t want to because you don’t want to be hurt again from the loss of another dog, but if you are hurting from the loss of your dog, it just says to me, that you have a beautiful heart and you can give another dog so much love!
Leslie in NC - August 30, 2022 9:23 am
There are angels among us.
1018le - August 30, 2022 9:27 am
Sean: I’ve heard said that “actions speak more loudly than words”. But you embrace words to tell a story that lingers in the mind and heart. You are an artist when it comes to words, but you also put them in to action by leaving thoughts in the heart and mind! May you also recall that you are NEVER ALONE and may your words continue to bless others! You, in turn, are blessed through your actions! Thank You, Sean! 🙂
Laura King - August 30, 2022 9:29 am
You, sir, are a bright, bright light in a sometimes overwhelmingly dark world. Thank you for writing ( something I’ve always aspired to do since I was a girl) of the beauty inside regular people, of hope that comes from the smallest and most unlikely places. My husband and I went to bed last night after watching another depressing news program and thought …it’s all so overwhelming. I woke up to read this and there it was…that nugget of beauty and the miraculous…hope! May you and that beautiful soul of a wife be well and happy! I hope I get the chance to see you in person one day. Thank you!!
Debbie - August 30, 2022 10:10 am
Wanda Wilson - August 30, 2022 10:17 am
Thanks for sharing. I believe in the Holy God of miracles. I love this story.
Debbie - August 30, 2022 10:36 am
We are never alone. God is always near.
debbie glaser - August 30, 2022 10:38 am
I needed this so badly today. Thank you.
Paula - August 30, 2022 11:15 am
Leigh Amiot - August 30, 2022 11:46 am
I already believed in angels.
Just more evidence.
Bonnie - August 30, 2022 11:52 am
BettyK - August 30, 2022 12:01 pm
What a wonderful and inspiring story! Angels all around us!
Trigger warning - August 30, 2022 12:07 pm
Thanks for your words, Sean. I’m so sick and tired of Ukraine, arctic ice, the 2020 election, covid, yadda… Your daily comments are an oasis.
Anne Arthur - August 30, 2022 12:11 pm
We never walk alone. Never.
Thanks for this story, Sean.
Gloria Van Nostrand - August 30, 2022 12:18 pm
The hands and feet of Jesus!
Linda Lewis - August 30, 2022 12:21 pm
This is a beautiful story. I love it. It gave me chill bumps. Please keep writing your wonderful column each day. That’s how I start my day . Thank you.
Sean of the South: Alone | The Trussville Tribune - August 30, 2022 12:31 pm
[…] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]
Linda johnson - August 30, 2022 12:40 pm
Love stories like this. I truly believe in angels. ❤️
PecosKate - August 30, 2022 12:42 pm
Laura - August 30, 2022 12:43 pm
Ahhhhhh! Is this a true story? When? Were there no cellphones? No CB radio? Did the man not bring her in his truck to a hospital? Or call for help after? Did he think it was ok to leave her asleep in a car? Where she could have bled out? Been rear ended, robbed or assaulted or had her baby stolen by a bad Samaritan?
Bryan - August 30, 2022 3:57 pm
Laura, I hope that you are never that lady, but if you are, you too can pray. Even if you never prayed before, God will hear you. That’s just the way God is.
Sue - August 30, 2022 12:53 pm
There’s another angel from God.
Abbe Laboda - August 30, 2022 12:54 pm
Beautiful, as always. Tears with my tea this morning.
sjhl7 - August 30, 2022 1:07 pm
So sad yet so beautiful! “Welcome to the world precious little one” said the angel sent from God.
dagsmimi - August 30, 2022 1:18 pm
“Alone” made me weep like the young woman in your story. There are angels amongst us every day and I am grateful for those near me as I grieve the loss of my husband five months ago.
Kathy Coxwell - August 30, 2022 1:22 pm
It may sound silly, but a vicious stray dog killed one of my cats early this morning. I heard the screams. It was still dark and when I turned the outside I didn’t see anything. At 5:00 my husband told me what had happened. I was crushed.
Then I read today’s column. I realized, as I often have in my 75 years on this earth, the truth of what you wrote. I was feeling so alone, so sad, and then your column reminded me of an important truth: we are never alone. Thank you
Joyce Walz - August 30, 2022 1:25 pm
GW - August 30, 2022 1:43 pm
David Britnell - August 30, 2022 2:10 pm
As others have already commented “Angels all around us”! Thanks again Sean!
Phyllis Schmidbauer - August 30, 2022 2:13 pm
Wonderful story. I, too had an experience 14 yrs. ago that was definitely “a God thing”. As I was about to be wheeled into the operating room for a heart transplant, having told my two daughters of my deepest love for them, a very small, very wrinkled, older black man with very few teeth appeared at my side. He asked me why I was crying and I told him I was afraid. He held my hand and said “Don’t be afraid. You are the queen bee and look into that room with all the worker bees just preparing for you.” I wanted to embrace him, but then he was gone. I told everyone and no one saw him but me. I love telling of all the things surrounding my miracle of a new heart. Phyllis Schmidbauer
Edith Reed - August 30, 2022 2:27 pm
Just wow. Thank you
Pat - August 30, 2022 2:29 pm
Wow, just wow!
Joyce Bennett - August 30, 2022 3:19 pm
Your articles make me smile, laugh, cry and thank God! And, thank you!
Beryl - August 30, 2022 3:24 pm
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT.
You need to stay. And you need to stay loudly. You’re afraid of making bad choices but the truth is this: the tiniest actions will influence the course of the rest of your life and you cannot control it. So many factors play a part in you being here today: a delayed train, an extra cup of tea, the number of seconds your parents took to cross the street. This is chaos theory. Sensitivity. Mathematics. You are here. And every choice you have ever made has led to right now, reading this. While you exist, every movement and moment matters; those bad choices led you to the best days of your life, if you were to play it all in rewind. So let them go. Change will come. Even if you’re standing still. Butterflies will keep flapping their wings and causing hurricanes. So, make your choices and make them loud. Trust your gut. Trust energy. And if you ceased to exist? Oh, the Universe would notice. The mess that would make. The hearts that would break. So just stay. Stay for bad choices. Stay for great ones. Stay. Cause a few hurricanes. -sIwpoetry
P.S. These are not my words. And I love their meaning.
Gaynell Lumsden - August 30, 2022 3:38 pm
Beautiful! Jesus at the helm always.
PS: Thanks Sean
Patricia Gibson - August 30, 2022 4:16 pm
Susie Flick - August 30, 2022 4:51 pm
Si se puede – “yes we can”
Linda Moon - August 30, 2022 5:09 pm
You Are Not Alone, I Am Here With You. That’s a beautiful song and a beautiful thing, too. Thank you for telling us about “Someone”, Sean.
Beverly Rose - August 30, 2022 5:31 pm
MAM - August 30, 2022 7:57 pm
I cried, because I KNEW God would help her when she whispered Help! And Laura, I’ll say a prayer for you that you repent and believe in God, not in CB radios or cellphones or material things. God is with you, too. You just have to believe. God saved her and her child. He would not let her be harmed!
Jenny Carr - August 31, 2022 1:31 pm
Are you okay? I’m very concerned that we haven’t heard from you today. (Wednesday)
Rick Rodgers - August 31, 2022 1:47 pm
I’ve commented before, when and about what doesn’t matter because the what is always the same. Don’t stop writing as you do and about what you do……..the world needs what you write about and how you write it….…I need what you do. TY
Ron Camarda - September 1, 2022 8:17 pm
Wow! “Alone” is the word I use for meditation. Breathe in alone and then… Never alone. Love won’t allow it. Thanks for reminding us all to lift up Alejandra’s all over the world. Praying for all of us, including the biological father, to do the right thing. When we recognize people, we become love for the world. Thanks Sean!
CHARALEEN WRIGHT - September 9, 2022 2:59 am
iwaly444 - September 19, 2022 1:22 am