14: Frozen

14: Frozen

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles


Miracles are instantaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves, usually at unlikely moments and to those who least expect them.

~Katherine Porter

My husband drove our sixth grader to the bus stop every morning because it was where our road intersected with a busy highway, with two lanes in each direction. One particular morning, my husband had to work early, so I took Joey.

When we arrived at the end of the street, I parked my car even further back than my husband might have. My husband usually pulled right out to the shoulder of the road. But I was thinking of my own father’s warning that this was a dangerous location, because our road intersected the highway at the bottom of a large hill. You never knew if someone would lose control coming down that hill.

The bus approached and Joey gathered his belongings and attempted to climb from the car. However, his book bag strap became entangled in the car door.

The bus waited while Joey struggled to free his bag. A UPS truck came to a stop in the left lane, next to the bus, following the rules.

“Hurry,” I said to Joey, “the bus is waiting.”

But after Joey freed the bag and began to approach the bus, he stopped dead in his tracks.

I stared at Joey, dumbfounded as to what was keeping him. The bus was waiting along with the delivery truck. “Get moving, Joey,” I thought.

Then, out of the blue, a loaded tractor-trailer came barreling down the hill, on our side of the road. The weight of his truck more than likely pulled him forward faster and faster. With both lanes of traffic blocked before him and no time to stop, the driver of the big rig had to make a decision. He decided to swerved right, onto the shoulder, and pass the stopped UPS truck and stopped school bus that way.

It was still a little dark, and there was no way the driver would have seen Joey walking on the shoulder approaching the bus.

Joey, strangely, didn’t see the truck either. He just stood there, frozen, not moving a muscle, as the truck sped by right in front of his face.

In a flash, the truck was gone. The driver seemed to slow momentarily but never stopped.

Neither did Joey, for long. He unfroze, resumed his walk to the bus, and walked up the steps. The doors closed behind him, and the bus pulled away with my son safely inside.

As I turned to head back home, the scene replayed in my mind. Shocked, I started to cry.

I wasn’t home but a few minutes when my phone rang. The bus driver called me and asked if I was able to get the license plate number of the truck driver that had nearly hit my son.

“No, it was too dark,” was all I could say.

He said he couldn’t see it either. I asked him how Joey was doing, and he said he was fine but very quiet during the ride to school.

“Did you see the truck coming?” I asked the driver, “Because I never did.”

“I did,” he said. “And I warned the kids, already seated, to hold on. I knew he would never stop in time. He was going too fast.”

When I got my wits about me, I called the guidance counselor at the school and asked to speak to Joey.

They called him to the office.

I suspected all along that Joey saw the truck coming and that was why he stopped, but he had another story to tell.

“I didn’t see it, Mom,” he said. “But I felt like I hit a brick wall, and I couldn’t take another step. It was if something was holding me in that spot.”

To this very day, we thank God for His intervention that early January morning: first, for my husband’s work meeting keeping him from being parked close to that shoulder where he might have been killed; secondly, for an entangled book bag on a door handle; and, third, for an angel to hold him frozen in place as a tractor trailer passed within inches of his face.

~Debbie Pinskey

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