It was raining on the highway. Icy rain. She had everything she owned in the back of her SUV.

It was a few weeks until Christmas. She was leaving, going back home to live with parents. Her life was a wreck, she’d given up hope that it would ever be any different.

It had been five years since her husband’s death, but it still hung over her like a long shadow.

Three car lengths behind her:

He was driving a green truck. He was from a different state, on his way to Tennessee, to accept a job in the English department of a community college.

He didn’t notice her brake lights because of the rain.

Crunch.

It was not serious. Her airbag didn’t even deploy. She was in shock, but not hurt.

He helped her out of the vehicle. He led her to the median. She sat on the highway shoulder with her kids. When her surprise finally started to wear off, she let her eyes focus on him.

“W-W-Who are you?” were her first words.

“I’m the guy who hit you,” he said. “I’m really sorry about this, ma’am.”

“Okay,” was all she could manage to say.

“I really didn’t mean to run into you, it was all my fault.”

“Okay.”

“Are you gonna be alright, ma’am? You’re just in shock, I think, that’s all it is.”

“Okay.”

“Should we call our insurance companies or something?”

Then, it all fell upon her. She began to cry. “My insurance is expired,” she said. “They’re probably gonna arrest me.”

He held her. It had been a long time since she’d been held by someone.

“We’ll work this out,” he said. “I’ll pay for it. We don’t have to call the police, as long as you’re okay. Are you okay?”

“I’m okay.”

The rain kept falling.

They drove to a truckstop restaurant. They changed into dry clothes. He bought supper for her and her children. She could tell he was a good man by the way he kept trying to make her boys laugh.

It had been a long time since anyone had made her boys laugh.

Their conversation was easy, not forced. One thought followed another. Two hours later, they were still in a cafe booth. She told him everything. The words came out of her like she was draining an infection.

She told him about her late husband, about the tragedy that followed his death. She had a lot to say. He listened to every word.

It was getting late. Nobody felt like driving that night, so he paid for hotel rooms. They all sat by an indoor pool. Her boys went swimming.

The next morning they parted ways in the parking lot. He gave her his number, written on a piece of paper. She thanked him for his kindness.

“Let me know how much repairs cost,” he said. “I’ll pay for everything.”

“I will,” she said.

They shook hands. Then, they hugged. It was an awkward hug at first. But only at first.

She arrived at her mother’s that evening. The following weeks were a blur. Her boys unpacked. They settled into the house. She had a few job interviews lined up. Her father played basketball with her boys. Her mother baked Christmas cookies.

She should’ve been happy. But she wasn’t. She’d given up on ideas like happiness.

Christmas came quickly, it was uneventful. Soon, it was New Year’s Day brunch—which was always a big event at her parents’ house. Her relatives visited from all over to eat her mother’s cooking. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and annoying neighbors with nasal voices.

That morning, the house was overrun with elderly people, kids, and dogs. Music played. Everyone drank eggnog.

The doorbell rang.

Her mother shouted. “Would you see who that is, honey? I’m up to my arms in food!”

She opened the door.

Him.

At first, she was dumbfounded to see him on the porch steps. He had brought a bottle of sparkling wine, and a box of candy. He was even wearing a necktie.

“You,” she said.

“Yeah,” he said.

“What’re you doing here?”

“Your mom called and invited me. I hope that’s okay.”

It was more than okay. It was the most perfect thing that ever happened to her.

And they have been perfect for twelve years ever since.

Don’t give up.

31 comments

  1. Sandi in FL. - December 3, 2018 7:05 am

    I just love a happy ending to stories like this one! There are still so many good people in the world.

    Reply
  2. Steven P Bailey - December 3, 2018 10:41 am

    Beautiful stuff.

    Reply
  3. Jill McKenzie - December 3, 2018 11:14 am

    This is way better than any Hallmark movie! Love, indeed!

    Reply
  4. Jo Brooks - December 3, 2018 11:44 am

    What a wonderful story! A perfect Christmas story.

    Reply
  5. Connie Havard Ryland - December 3, 2018 11:51 am

    What a beautiful thought. I gave up. I’ve been divorced 8 years and it’s been forever since I’ve had a hug. I have my kids and I’m thankful and blessed to have a decent life. But it gets lonely. And hard abs stressful to be everything to everyone and not have a shoulder to lean on sometimes. So thanks for the inspiring story of hope. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  6. Marlo Kirkpatrick - December 3, 2018 12:30 pm

    Please tell me this is an absolutely true story. Beautiful.

    Reply
  7. Liz Watkins - December 3, 2018 1:24 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

    Reply
  8. Paul - December 3, 2018 1:26 pm

    Sean
    How you know what I need to hear today is amazing. Thank you.
    May god bless you and your family.

    A friend…

    Reply
  9. Nita Stacey - December 3, 2018 1:28 pm

    Sean, I knew you were going to make me cry again.

    Reply
  10. 4Dees - December 3, 2018 2:11 pm

    I sent this wonderful story to a sister-in-law, who needs to read this. Out of bad things come good things, thank the Lord!!

    Reply
  11. Jane Vaught - December 3, 2018 3:12 pm

    This gives me hope! Thank you for writing about real life. After being married 43 years my husband asked for a divorce. Multiple surgeries had changed the person I married and he was certain I was cheating on him, (No, I wasn’t). Now four years later I hate being alone. Maybe my doorbell will ring soon
    Merry Christmas Sean and many blessings to you

    Reply
  12. Jeanne - December 3, 2018 3:31 pm

    Loved this story – though it reminds me that I’m a bitter old woman 🙂 If that had happened to me, the guy would have been broke and probably on the run from the cops. Thanks for the story though

    Reply
  13. Jack Darnell - December 3, 2018 3:33 pm

    Yep, I love a good Christmas story. I do love a good ending. Yep I did forward this to a young lady who needs a new start!

    Reply
  14. Laurence - December 3, 2018 3:48 pm

    Such a wonderful story. Make it a movie!
    Thanks

    Reply
  15. Dee - December 3, 2018 3:54 pm

    Thanks, Sean! I’m a sucker for a good love story!

    Reply
  16. Rick Schramm - December 3, 2018 4:16 pm

    Now that’s a Christmas story!
    I love it.

    Reply
  17. Dell - December 3, 2018 4:57 pm

    Ahh, love!

    Reply
  18. Janet Mary Lee - December 3, 2018 5:53 pm

    Thank you for giving me a smile today! God gives us all we really need when we open that door!

    Reply
  19. Linda Thacker - December 3, 2018 5:54 pm

    Hope!

    Reply
  20. Shelton Armour - December 3, 2018 6:03 pm

    That one really got to me. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  21. Edna B. - December 3, 2018 7:46 pm

    I love this. It’s the perfect Christmas story. Thank you so much for always showing us the good that is all around us. You have a fantabulous day Sean. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  22. Marilyn - December 3, 2018 9:57 pm

    How heartwarming! Your stories are so upbeat, which we need more of. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  23. Nancy Wright - December 3, 2018 11:31 pm

    What a lovely story! I hope they are “forever happy “! Thanks Sean!

    Reply
  24. Jones - December 4, 2018 12:56 am

    Great!! Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Kathy M Hornsby - December 4, 2018 1:44 am

    You start my day, you often make me chuckle, and frequently make me cry. Thank you for who you are and what you write. Awesome !

    Reply
  26. Helena Shirley - December 4, 2018 1:45 am

    Thank you once again for a story of hope.

    Reply
  27. throughmyeyesusa - December 4, 2018 3:05 am

    Please don’t describe yourself as lacking in talent, as having “nothing to say”, Sean. You have a gift of seeing straight into the heart of things…of people, of situations, of heartache and hope, or hopelessness. Don’t stop and don’t ever underestimate the power of your gift – or where it came from or why HE gave it to YOU!
    Mele kalikimaka from Hawaii.

    Reply
  28. Aunt Linda - December 4, 2018 3:44 am

    This is a great story, it is someone being rescued andcthe they rescue someone back! Both were lost souls until they found each other
    Love this!

    Reply
  29. Sally Hanley - December 4, 2018 3:10 pm

    Best Christmas story ever. Please tell me it’s true. I love love!!

    Reply
  30. Linda Lovvorn - December 4, 2018 4:00 pm

    Love, love, love your stories! I’m addicted!

    Reply
  31. MyPlace - December 7, 2018 6:47 am

    Yep, Ya made me cry Again!!! What a great story of hope and love… And even if it isn’t TRUE, it really IS true for someone somewhere… so THANK YOU, and Merry Christmas to you and your sweet wife And the hounds… And hugs from Sue to you all.

    Reply

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