January 30, 2008

Wife, Mother, and Angel: Part I

A while back I was watching a talk show featuring a popular male host whom anyone would recognize if you saw him walking down the street. I frown upon mentioning celebrities in this space; but suffice it to say that the program itself wasn’t important, yet the topic was. A prominent “psychic” was his guest and audience members were encouraged to ask her questions. A young woman, perhaps in her twenties described an experience she had at a toll booth where her car had a broke down and she needed assistance and the toll booth collector wasn’t very helpful. She went on to describe how she was startled by an attractive young man in an expensive sports car who came up to her from behind and told her where a gas station was. She turned to the toll collector, and when she looked back at the Good Samaritan, in her words “he was gone.” She deepened the mystery by saying that the toll booth guy said that he never saw the man. The psychic claimed that she was visited by an “angel.” The woman readily agreed.

Now, I’m not going to dispute the presence of angels in our lives; but I’d like to think that if they were able assist those in need, they can use their time more constructively and step in to stop an execution or find a missing child or something else important. All the woman with the over-heated engine had to do was use her cell phone to call for a tow truck. With that said, the phony psychic and the lady with the hyperactive imagination need to hear some tales of a real-life angel who saved lives by the side of the road. I know she is real because I have seen her in person. In fact, I married her.

Roughly a decade ago when our daughter was only two years old, my wife took our daughter, strapped into the car seat of our fuel efficient Honda Accord, to her mother’s house for a visit. She drove along the scenic route, entering the Sagtikos Parkway south to the Southern Sate Parkway. These parkways were designed by Robert Moses as thoroughfares to be used to visit Long Island’s many, beautiful parks and beaches. The shoulders are wide, grassy spaces backed up by trees, and the overpasses are constructed like Roman arches with stone facing. Commercial vehicles are banned from using these roads. The parkways are pretty to look at, but if you break down, you’re officially stranded.

At the point of the merge to the Southern State Parkway, my wife noticed a car on the grass and it’s occupants outside in apparent distress. At fifty-five miles per hour, they were like blips on her radar screen, yet she noticed the woman for several reasons. They were dressed in Middle Eastern garb, dark cloth fabric with their heads covered, and they one of them looked to be screaming. Something told my wife to stop.

With our two year old daughter in the back seat, she defied conventional wisdom to mind her own business and pulled off to the side of the road about one half mile from the scene of the trouble. She had to back all the way up, pausing within about twenty yards or so to have a better look. Immediately, she noticed one of the women holding a baby boy. From the distance she was away, she noticed that his skin was tinged with blue. With an eye on our daughter she backed up closer, and then paused again.

“Mommy’s going to be right back, okay sweety?” she said. Our baby girl didn’t react, but my wife felt queasy entering the situation. She opened the car door and the screams of the women hit her like a blast. My wife got out and went over to them leaving the driver’s door open, partly so our daughter wouldn’t over heat, and to make a hasty retreat if she had to.

None of the women spoke English very well; except for an older woman whom my wife learned later was the little boy’s aunt. What happened was they were all driving home, the mother was of the one year old was in the back seat with him and the aunt and another relative in the front seats. The mom was feeding her son when a chunk of food became lodged in his throat.

My wife took the baby from his mother, the poor woman was screaming, as were the other two women. The aunt with whom my wife was communicating with remained calm enough to tell my wife what was happening. The boy wasn’t breathing, which as obvious. My wife knew something was in his throat blocking the airway, and she had to clear the blockage. She turned the boy over on her forearm, tipped his head downward, and gave him a few quick taps with the palm of her hand between his shoulder blades. Within moments, color returned to the boy’s cheeks.

The mother provided a blanket and my wife placed the boy down and reached for her cell phone in her pocket book. The one we had back then was a primitive, early model which was a plastic hunk of a thing with a retractable antennae, and not much of a range due to the fact that cell phones were still relatively new. She dialed nine-one-one and told the operator what was going on. She was unable to give an address, of course, but using landmarks and road signs, she was able to give an accurate location of where they were. When she was done, she tossed the phone to the ground and went to our daughter. Our girl was okay and she returned to se another motorist, a young man giving the baby boy mouth to mouth resuscitation with the family of the boy looking on in earnest.

“No…stop, stop!” She yelled.

The man looked up at her. The boy had stopped breathing again.

“He has something in his throat.” His eyes widened and his lips parted. He had the look of someone who knew they made a huge error; and then he stood up and backed away. Once more, my wife had to turn the boy over and deliver blows to his back. It worked again, but he had little room to breathe and foam appeared at the corners of his mouth.

Thankfully, at that moment she heard the yelp of an emergency vehicle. Looking up she saw a Suffolk County Police squad car racing towards them on the grassy shoulder. The car’s lights were flashing and the officer stopped a few short feet away. This parkway is ordinarily patrolled by the New York State Police, but in this emergency, the closest available officer answered the call. The officer checked the boy and he kept him wrapped in the blanket and monitored him until an ambulance arrived a few moments later. The boy was removed to the local emergency room and my wife followed the ambulance and the family, as she was desperate to learn if the baby was going to be okay. At the hospital, the family showed immense gratitude, hugging her, and kissing her cheeks.

I don’t remember where I was that day, but I do recall coming home before my wife did in the late afternoon, wondering where she was. She pulled in the driveway and I went out to greet her as I had been standing by the window waiting. She emerged from her car looking like she played football. He pants were covered in mud and her hair was frazzled.

Immediately, I became concerned and we went inside with our little girl who was as calm as can be. My wife told me what happened and I was both alarmed proud of her.

Days later, my wife called a telephone number given to her by the family. As they were recent immigrants to this country, they did not have their own phone and this line was for one of their neighbors. A woman answered the phone and knew right away who my wife was.

“Oh, you’re that woman. Thank you, thank you so much.”

What my wife wanted to know was if the boy was okay. “He’s doing great, thanks to you,” said the woman. A few more moments of chatting, and my wife hung up the phone and was removed from their lives forever. Their baby lived, my wife did a wonderful thing, and this is a documented case of an angel coming to the rescue of a family in need.

This story on its own would be enough to qualify one as a savior. But it seems that my wife found another person in distress. That’s the subject of part II to this story.

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Anonymous said...

Wow...wonderful wonderful story Mike.
There are truly angels in the world and your wife it seems is one of them :-)
Wonderful read. Thanks.

Bob Johnson said...

You guys are like superheros, I feel so good when I leave here

Paul said...

That's a great story to share, Mike---thanks---and good on your wife.


Kimchihead said...

Now that's a great story! Your wife sounds like a very cool, level headed person. She had one eye on your daughter while saving another kid. That's talent! :-)

Spirit said...

I apologize for not getting the chance to read this just yet but I wanted to let you know real quick that I've nominated you for an award. See: A roar for powerful words.

Swubird said...

Mr. Grudge:
Your wife is truly an American hero. She should get a medal. Unfortunately, though, most heroes are unsung. That's just the way life is. I admire you for publishing her story, and I can't wait to read part II.

Love your blog. Love your stories. I am adding your site to my Very Important Links.

Take care, and have a nice day.

Mike French said...

Can't wait for part 2 Mike. Is all of it true or have you added to the story?

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi JD,
My wife is an angel, that's why I married her. I just worry about her desire to help those in need as she may get hurt herslef one day. Read Part II when I post it. Thanks. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the kind compliment. If watching Yankees games and blasting Led Zepplin in my car were superpowers, I'd be a superhero. My wife is the real hero, though. Stick around for Part II. Thanks for reading. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Paul,
Thank you, my wife is a good woman. I appreciate you coming by to read. Thanks. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Kimchihead,
Yeah, I think you're right. She is pretty level headed and cool in emergency situations. Stick around for Part II. I appreciate your comment and for dropping by to read. Thanks again. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Spirit,
Thank you so much for the award! it's an honor. I'm going to post it here. I am grateful. Thank you again. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Swubird,
I don't want to sound like I am gloating, but I too think she is a hero. Thank you so much for your kind words. She does not take any credit for her actions. She feels that the things she does (read Part II coming up in the next few days) are what anyone would do in those situations. However, she fails to take notice of the fact that while she was out risking her own safety (Part II) to help a stranger, hundreds of people were driving past ignoring her and the person in distress. My wife is my hero. Thank you for adding my link to your site. I really enjoy your blog. It is so well researched and informative and the writing is descriptive. I am pleased to add your link to Friends of Mr. Grudge. I also appreciate you coming by as often as you to to read my blog. Thanks again, Swubird. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. -Mike.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Mike1,
All of this is 100% true with no embellishments. When I post fiction, I let everyone know. In fact, I went back and asked my wife about the story again to make sure I had things right. Thanks for reading this Mike 1, and stop by for Part II in a couple or three days. -Mike2

Kathy said...

Your wife is an angel indeed. Thank you for yet another riveting and heart-warming story. I'm wth Bob J. I always feel great when I leave here. I don't know how I stumbled on your blog once upon a time, but boy, am I glad I did.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Kathy,
I am glad that you feel happy after reading my stories. I have more riveting and heartfelt stories coming up soon such as "The Little Boy They Kept in the Shed" and "The Joys of Elder Abuse." Kidding! Kathy, this is a true story and my wife does not take any credit for what she did. I wanted to showcase her heroism here. Look out for part II in the next few days after I recover from the flu. Yes, I have the flu which I caught from my daughtyer. She feels great now and I want to crawl under a rock. Thanks for the kind words, as usual, Kathy. As far as you stumbling acroos my blog, I am happy that you did. The feeling is mutual. Have a great weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl. -Mike.

Swubird said...

Mr. Grudge:

I just visited Blogcatalog and read your very kind review of my site. Thank you very much. I'm so new at this stuff that things like writing Blogcatalog reviews don't occur to me. I still don't really know how to use some of Blogcatalog's features.

Happy trails my friend.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Swubird,
I posted the review because I feel you deserve a great review. I only offer comments on the blogs I fall in love with. Being new to Blog Catalog (sort of) myself, I am learning too. But, enjoy the ride and don't worry about the features. They will come to you. Browse the blogs as I do and meet friends of like-minded interests and enjoy each other's blogging company. This should be easy for you as you have an awful to offer the rest of us. Have fun, and welcome to Mr. Grudge! -Mike.

angesbiz said...

Amazing story!! I had goosebumps reading every word.

What a beautiful wife you have. One worth holding onto. A happy ending is what I was hoping for towards the end. An Angel indeed. Blessed Be... Ange

Anna said...

Now I know the whole story, as I read the part II first. Thanks for sharing Mike, Anna :)

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Angesbiz,
Thanks for reading the story and for your kind comment, Ange. My wife is my angel, and I'm proud of her. -Mike

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Anna,
Thank you so much for reading my story. I appreciate your kind comment. -Mike.

baby~amore' said...

wow what a powerful story I was in tears ... literally streaming down my face.
How precious an act to stop and render assistance and svae the boy's life.

I came by via Angesbiz

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi baby~amore,
Thanks for stopping by and reading my work. I appreciate your comemnts here. It's a pleasure to meet you and I am sorry I made you cry. Thanks for your kind words. -Mike.