Last week I was looking forward to the holiday season without a care in the world. Then I got the sad news that my grandmother passed away. While I was still recovering from that, the very next day my car lost power just as I got to work, after deteriorating all the way there. I work around ten miles from home so it wouldn’t have been a possibility to just turn back.
It being between pay periods, and having just bought presents for people, I was a little short on cash. My awesome adopted work brother helped me go to a battery place at lunch and we got a used one in hopes that the alternator was still good. Then there was a mad hunt to find a socket set so we could change out the battery… which we finally did. My car started up and ran fine. I was relieved.
The next morning, the car started up again and I thought everything was great. Then, partway along the trip, I started having the same electrical problems. I barely limped in to work, having had the engine almost quit on me several times. It was undoubtedly the alternator. Now, the battery had been old so that was also likely to fail, so it was good that I’d replaced it. Yet, what in the heck was I to do without an alternator and someone to help me put it in? They aren’t easy to reach on my car, you have to put it up on jacks and take out the oil filter.
My sweet cubemate, who has been really amazing, offered to help me get home from work. Her husband brought a charger and extension cord so I could at least get somewhere if I had to, and we charged the battery enough for me to get home, though the trip was nerve wracking. It was the greatest feeling to pull into my driveway! Then they dropped the bomb. They offered to buy the alternator and help me put it in – and I could pay them back after my next check. Then my work brother said he’d take me to the store on Christmas Eve to pick up dinner so we didn’t have to make do with our emergency stocks.
I am very happy right now. I intend to pay my friends back in the best of ways and continue my tradition of paying it forward. Like my cubemate’s husband said, “This is what Americans do for each other. Or should, anyway.”
That’s how Christmas was saved for me this year. Miracles are what we make for each other, and I know my Grandma is watching and is happy with what they did.