25: I Call Myself Bob

25: I Call Myself Bob

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

I Call Myself Bob

When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts.

~Author Unknown

I watched the weather through the window of the small bookshop where I worked with a sense of dread. When my shift was over, I intended to drive over the mountains of Tennessee for my best friend’s wedding. The bride-to-be had called earlier in the day and warned that a winter weather advisory had been posted and authorities were predicting icy roads and dangerous travel. She urged me not to make the trip, but as her closest friend not attending wasn’t an option. After I told her that a little storm wouldn’t stop me, she cautioned me to be careful and promised to keep me in her prayers.

The trip through the winding mountain roads was slow going but beautiful. Large, wet snowflakes flew through the air and my wipers worked valiantly to keep my windshield clear. Large clumps of snow sat upon the boughs of the trees. As the sun fell behind the frost-tipped peaks, the temperature dropped and the roads became slick and icy.

I had virtually slowed to a crawl as traffic thinned. Although I was one of the few people left on the road, I was determined to reach my destination. I clutched the steering wheel with both hands, watched the dark road attentively and prayed for God’s guidance.

I came to a point in the road where a sharp turn led into a steep descent. Even though I was traveling slowly, the icy pavement and steepness of the road was too much for my two-door compact car. My loss of control started with a small fishtail that led to a full spin. The nose of my car was pointed in the wrong direction before it slid onto the shoulder of the road and simply dropped over the side of the mountain.

My car rolled at least once before it came to a stop in the upright position against a stand of trees. The airbag had inflated and now dangled from the steering wheel like a deflated balloon. Blood trickled down the side of my face and my left hand throbbed painfully. The driver’s side door wouldn’t open, even when I rammed it with my shoulder, and the seatbelt was jammed, effectively trapping me inside the car. I fought a sense of hysteria by chanting a prayer aloud.

I became aware of a tapping on the passenger window. A man pulled the passenger side door open and crawled carefully inside. “Hey,” he said gently. “Are you okay?”

I was so relieved to see this man. I swiped the tears from my cheeks. “I think so. I think I’m okay. I can’t get my door open though. I’m stuck. I need to get out of here,” I said, feeling the sense of panic return. “Can you help me?”

“No, I’m afraid I don’t have the right equipment to get you out of here and back up to the road. Your car came pretty far down the side of this mountain. A family that was traveling behind you saw you go over and they’re calling 911. It won’t be long now; help is on the way.”

“I hit some ice and lost control. I can’t believe it. There was just nothing I could do to stop it. I’ve never had an accident before,” I rambled.

“Well,” he said kindly, “you started with a doozy!”

I smiled in return. “Yeah, I guess I did.”

“Since we have a few minutes, allow me to introduce myself,” he said extending a hand. “I call myself Bob.”

Our voices mingled softly in the stillness of the night. Bob was such a comforting presence. I was filled with a sense of peace. Despite the frigid temperatures outside, the interior of the car was comfortably warm. I realized that I was no longer afraid.

“Well, Vicki,” he said after a time, “it looks like help is on its way.” He pointed ahead where the faint rays of flashlights could be seen through the darkness. “I’m going to get out of their way and let them do their job.”

Panic filled me. “Please don’t leave me.”

“Oh, I’m not going far. I’ll be watching. But these guys don’t need another body to worry about. You hang tight and they’ll have you out of this car in a jiffy.”

I grabbed his hand. “Thank you… for staying with me, for keeping me company until they came.”

He squeezed my hand. “It’s been entirely my pleasure. God bless you.”

True to his word, the rescue squad arrived shortly after he left. They used the Jaws of Life to free me from the tangled wreckage, loaded me onto a stretcher and hauled me up the mountain. As they loaded me onto an ambulance I looked around for Bob.

“Bob sat with me in the car until you arrived. He said he’d wait for me.”

The firemen exchanged wary glances. “Ma’am, there’s no way someone could have been waiting in the car with you. We couldn’t even reach you without safety lines and crampons. Both doors were too damaged to open without the Jaws. There’s no way anyone went in or out of that car before we arrived.”

I sought to make sense of what he was saying. Then I noticed a family of four huddled together by their car. “Wait! He told me that a family was calling for help. I bet they saw him!”

A fireman led the family to me and I thanked them for calling for help. I asked if they had seen Bob. “There wasn’t anyone else here. No one except the emergency crew has come up this road since you went over. You’re just lucky we were here tonight and saw your car go over the side. If we hadn’t, no one would have known you were down there!”

I believed them. However, if it had all just been a dream, how had I known that it was a family that had seen me go over the side of the road and called for help? How could I have imagined that so accurately?

A few weeks after the accident, I received a photo of my car taken by a road crew tasked with bringing it back up the mountain. The picture plainly shows the passenger side door mangled against a huge tree trunk. I believe the firemen were right when they said that no earthly body had been with me that night, but I firmly believe a heavenly presence had been! The passing of the years has not lessened my memory of Bob. He was a real and solid presence in that vehicle with me. He held my hand and promised that I would be safe. I will never forget that accident or the time I spent with an angel named Bob. To this day I believe that my angel is doing just what he promised: watching over me.

~Vicki Kitchner

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners