Thursday, September 12, 2013

Strong Women

As I drove my children to one of their classes yesterday, I pondered about the many financial stresses we were facing as a family.

Along the way, I was immediately distracted from my worries.  I teared up and honked my horn as I drove past this lovely lady waving her flag proudly along the side of the road.

September 11:  she was doing more than remembering.  She was helping us to remember as well.  On my return, I stopped to ask her if I could take her picture.  More cars drove by honking their horns while she smiled for my camera.  She seemed surprised at how touched I was by her service.  However, another woman, who was not a native-born citizen of the United States, also pulled over in her car to personally thank this woman for her service to our country.  

As I attempted to turn my big shuttle van around filled with my 6 children, we all continued to wave with gratitude in our hearts.  I pulled into a small cul de sac when all of a sudden an alarm sounded from my car!  I had never heard such a sound!  The "ABS"(break system) flashed and then across the dashboard on the odometer screen read the words, "Service RSC." 

The alarm continued, so I shouted back to the kids in a panic, "EVERYBODY OUT!"  

As a little girl, I had to jump out of a truck that almost caught fire, so that fear is always in the back of my head.  I had no idea what RSC meant, but it must have been serious if it was sounding an alarm!

All 6 kids stood on the side of the street looking bewildered while I searched for help.  I approached a resident of the cul de sac to ask her for advice.  She had no idea what the code meant.  

I called a local auto body shop. The manager didn't know what it meant.  He asked his technicians; they didn't know either, but they were pretty sure my van wasn't going to blow up.

There I stood on the side of the street wondering how I was going to pay for a repair; but more importantly, I wondered how I would drive my car to be repaired not knowing if it was even safe to do so with all my children in tow. 

As the many stresses ran through my mind, this resident said, "Hey look at this spider!"  In moments, my children were trailing behind her as they investigated armadillo holes, snake nests, and this giant spider in her yard.

There is nothing wrong with your screen or my camera.  Tyson, my biggest nature lover, is standing in front of the giant spider.  BIG AND CREEPY, right?  Big and creepy is EXACTLY what my children love!  

As my children found joy, so did I.  I felt my heart begin to calm.  I chatted for a few minutes with this lovely woman and discovered she was fairly new to Florida as well.  As she spoke of her many projects  she had been resolving, she said, "Life sure does throw us curve balls." I nodded grandly with agreement as I pointed to my broken van.  

Feeling it was time to leave, I gathered the children and felt my stress begin to rise again knowing I would be driving with my breaks and SOMETHING else terribly wrong with my van.  As I walked holding baby Jayden in my arms, this woman reached her arms out to hug me!  

Surprised and grateful for her gesture, I hugged her in return.  With her hug, she placed the biggest, most loving, motherly kiss on my cheek.  Even more surprised by her kiss, my heart filled with gratitude for her loving nature.  Her kiss calmed my heart as I drove away VERY slowly not sure if I had breaks or not.  All I could do was pray for the best.  

On the way, I pulled into a convenience store and turned off my van.  As I restarted the van, the RSC alarm and break system lights turned off.  Could it be?  It was all better... no worries!  

I investigated the code myself on the internet.  RSC means "Roll Stability Control."  It's connected with the break system and prevents the van from rolling over!  The complaint of this system is that once it is defective, there is no way to silence the alarm until the issue is fixed.  If you bypass the alarm, the engine becomes disabled.

I don't know what happened... How did the alarm silence?  Why did it even begin to sound off in the first place?  Why did the alarm begin in that particular moment?   I don't know the whys and hows of God's mighty hand.  I don't even know all the reasons behind all the emotions that run through this body of mine.  

One thing I do know:  I was supposed to meet the woman with the flag and the patriotic heart and the woman in the yard of wild nature and big kisses.  They both strengthened my resolve to stand strong.  

Later in the day, I drove past this area of town again and noticed that BOTH women were now standing together on the side of the road waving vigorously.  How appropriate!  I honked with pride for my country and for my womanhood.