“I’m only going to be 2 nights” David reassured his young wife. This was the first time he had to leave his new family alone overnight. It was for a good reason though, he tried to convince himself.
As he drove to the plane she called for one more good-bye. “I hope you don’t get stage fright”, Maggie joked with him. “How many people are you going to be standing in front of again?” He ignored the comment.
“Now listen I’ve called Mom and if you and the twins need anything just call her ok?” He insisted. “I will, I will, don’t you worry about me. If I were you I’d worry more about giving your presentation in front of all those people”, she giggled.
David had landed a new position with an engineering consulting company and was headed to a convention hundreds of miles away. To say he was worried about leaving his wife and babies was an understatement, but his Mother lived close and promised to help out if anything happened.
Maggie got off the phone still chuckling to herself while working to dress the twins. “We’re going to have some fun while daddy’s away” she said to the 18 month old girls, “let’s go shopping”.
Shopping with twin babies always starts out being fun but by the 3rd feeding and the 4th bout of crying fits Maggie was through. It was starting to get late anyway.
She packed up the mini-van with shopping bags and babies and hit the road. The sun was in her eyes on that hot summer night as she rounded a corner on Route 8 out-of-town back to the house.
She barely saw a blur when it happened. “How could such a little animal cause such a ruckus?” she would later recall. As she rounded the corner a spotted young fawn stood sampling a tasty spot on the road. At the last possible moment she saw it lift its head which caused her to steer into the other lane and back over into hers and then down the embankment into the trees…
Carl’s day was just about to come to an end, he’d been on duty since 6:00 am and it was nearly 7:30pm now. “Sometimes I get treated like I’m part of the problem when I’m actually there to solve the problem” he remarked. That was a sign to his boss that it’s time for this tow truck driver to get some rest. That’s when the phone rang.
“This is operator Tungstin from the Highway Patrol.” The voice over the phone alerted “We need you for an accident along Route 8.”
As Carl reluctantly climbed back into the tow truck and headed that way he started to run over in his mind other things he could do to make a living rather than this thankless job…
Maggie still had an iron grip hold on the steering wheel when the mini-van came to an abrupt stop. On its wheels with trees all around she quickly turned to check the girls still snug in their car seats. As she freed both babies and thoroughly checked for injuries she was relieved to find nothing wrong.
First call 911 then David, then Mom.
“911 what’s your emergency?” “I ran off the road and I’m wedged in the trees off the highway” Maggie told them. “Ok ma’am, are there any injuries?” “No, we’re all OK but my van’s stuck and I don’t know exactly where I am.” “We’ll find you I just need a little more information… “
When Carl arrived on the scene Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement were already there but he didn’t see a wrecked car anywhere. “Oh great it’s way down the embankment, I’m going to be here a while” he said to himself.
Carl dragged himself from the cab of his tow truck and walked over to the officer and asked where the vehicle was. As the officer pointed down the hill he said; “See that tree down there and that little hump? It’s right over that hump to the left about 100 yards and it ran over a couple of trees so there’s no telling what kind of damage is underneath. “
“Just the type of job I need to end this glorious day” Carl thought as he proceeded to get to work. Disgusted with the situation he went about the task of snatch blocking, winching and pulling to get the damaged van roadside. After an hour and a half of recovery work all that was left was to load it on his wrecker and tow it back to the shop.
That’s when Maggie walked up. “Hey good job getting it out, it went in a lot easier than it came out” she joked.
“Uh yeah, thanks” Carl managed. The last time he spent this much time working to recover a wrecked vehicle the under-insured owner went ballistic over the price so he expected the same from Maggie.
“Hey”, she said, Carl was waiting for it. “Do you think you can give me and the girls a ride?”
“A ride?” this wasn’t what Carl expected.
I don’t get paid to do all this extra stuff, Carl thought.
“Yeah I guess so”, he said.
“I’m going need a little help getting those car seats out of the van though,” Maggie politely suggested.
“Little help, yeah me doing it”, Carl mumbled to himself.
With the back seat loaded with the twins, Maggie in the passenger seat and their wrecked van on the hook finally this parade could commence.
As they travelled the 22 miles back to Maggie’s house she started talking about her husband’s new job and the fact that he was out-of-town and that her mother-in-law couldn’t pick them up because she had been to the eye doctor that day and couldn’t see to drive. Maggie talked about the move they had made 4 years earlier from out-of-state and how she just loved the house they lived in now and on and on.
Carl listened and drove and started to think about his wife and young son and how horrible it would be if they were involved in an accident while he was away. Then as he looked to make a turn he caught a glimpse of the two babies in the back seat. The light of a passing car had lit them up for just a second but they looked happy, content and safe. That’s when he realized that he was doing more than just a job he was helping people during one of their most vulnerable times, he was helping families.