“Daddy saved the day!”

Posted on June 11, 2008. Filed under: Good Titus, Me and only ME ranting |

Today, Titus and I went shopping at Costco, stopped in the food court and grabbed hotdogs and pizza.
As we were leaving I told Titus that we were going to Reese and Malcolm’s house (Maurice’s house, those are his children). As we pulled out of the parking lot I thought about what I need to do to be more humble and how to be a better servant.

As I was driving down 86th Street approaching Zionsville Rd. I pulled up at a stop light next to a lady in an SUV. I just happened to notice a small whisp of white come out from under her front right wheel well. I figured it would be nice of me to let her know that maybe her car was overheating. I rolled down my water and hollered at her, “You’re steaming!” Rather annoyed, she rolled down her window and asked what I’d said and once again I told her that she was steaming. When she asked me where she was steaming from (the white whisps were still rather hard to see) I looked as far as I could into her wheel well (I was sitting in my car after all) and noticed that there was a fire and fiery stuff was dripping onto the ground.

I looked at her, my eyes wide in shock, and said, “OH SHIT! Your car’s on fire!”

She yelled back, “OH SHIT! What do I do?!”

Thinking quickly I yelled at her to pull into a relatively empty parking lot next to some small restaurants and a liquor store. I dipped into her lane and followed her into the parking lot. I jumped out of the car and could see plainly that the fire had started to get a whole lot worse. Greyish-tan smoke was starting to billow out from under her hood at this time. Someone pulled up to us at this time and I hollered at him, “Call 911!” then took off to the closest restaurant. I ran in the front door of El Rodeo and asked the first person I saw if the restaurant had a fire extinguisher. They rushed to get me one and I ran back outside to the burning SUV.

By this time, flames were coming out the sides of the fire walls of the wheel wells and flames were shooting up the windshield. The lady that had been driving the SUV had grabbed Titus from out of my car while I was inside and moved him further away from her burning wreckage of a car. I ripped the pin out of the fire extinguisher and stuck the hose right through the fire wall and pulled the trigger. Bright Yellow powder shot out of the nozzle puffing out through the seams of the engine hood. The fire was stubborn and wasn’t giving an inch, I had to start moving a little back because it was getting hotter and I couldn’t get the nozzle directly on the fire anymore. I continued to spray and pray for some success but it didn’t come. I heard the fire engines beginning to approach (at which Titus began yelling, “Wee-oo, wee-oo, wee-oo”) and backed away from the fire to let the pros do their job. The last bit that I could do was move my car out of the way so that it wouldn’t interfere with the fire fighters.

I went and sat down next to the SUV’s owner (her name was April) and figured I’d just keep her company. I knew that if I was in that position, I wouldn’t want to be alone. I felt like crying for her. I asked her if she’d need a ride anywhere. She didn’t. Her husband worked just down the road and she would go home with him. Titus kept her company and kept her spirits up. He knew she was sad and gave her a hug. I snapped some pictures with my phone of the firemen putting out the fire and destroying her car in doing so. I figured it would be good for her for insurance purposes. I let her know that I could send them to her phone, she looked up at me, sadness in her eyes and said, “I don’t have insurance.”

My heart sank, I didn’t know what else to do for her. I turned my head away as I fought back a tear. Myself, Titus and April sat in silence and watched the fire fighters do their job. As it came under control and they began to clean up their hoses I said, “I’m so sorry. Isn’t there anything I can do for you?” She shook her head and looked out to her car again.

She sighed and said, “You know, I’m just glad you stopped me. My car was on ‘E’ and I was on my way to Speedway (a gas station) to get some gas. The car was making some noise and I figured I’d look at it while I was filling up. I’m glad you told me something was wrong before I got to that point or before I decided to just go on the highway.” In a way that put it all into perspective. The results could have been disastrous if she’d gone to fill up her tank while her car was on fire. It would have been bad enough had she been tooling down the highway with her car a flaming mess but to add gasoline into the equation is a recipe for catastrophe.

I’m not trying to make this bigger than it’s supposed to be but I believe the Holy Spirit did put me in a position to help (not that God caused the fire but that God used me to help that lady). It really was a humbling experience for me.

Titus loved it too. He got to see fire trucks and firemen do their thing today. We had originally planned to go to an event where you pay $5 and your kid can climb around fire trucks and police cars but there’s always a bajillion kids at those things and your kid has to share. There are never enough bodies to field all the questions that your own kid has either. We didn’t get to go to that today because we’d slept in too late but the fire fighters that were there helping us today were more than happy to give Titus the first-class treatment. He got to put on their helmets and play with their safer equipment. They even let him sit in the driver’s seat and press all the buttons that he wanted to. He even got to make the siren go off. The firemen posed for pictures with him and showed him all over the place, they showed great patience and answered all of his questions (and he had a ton of them). They even gave him his own red fire hat with “Fire Chief” written on it, which he has worn all day long. He even took it to bed with him.

As neat as I thought it was and as glad as I was to be a servant rather than be served on, Titus made my day. When he got home he told Marcia all about his fire fighter adventure. I began by asking him, “Do you want to tell mommy what happened today?” he looked at her, smiled and said, “Daddy saved the day!” Once again, I feel humbled.

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