When my husband’s friend finally got engaged, my husband and I were both ecstatic. Until the cream-card invitation arrived from the States and my husband waved it in my face. “I’m going, right? I can’t miss it.”
Gulp. How many nights alone?
Wait. Shopping. A gracious courier, um, husband.
“Sure, no problem,” I said, already compiling my list.
My husband’s flight was right after Shabbos and we cut it a little too close getting to the airport, time-wise. When he was finally checked in, I waved him off and turned to head back to the parking lot.
Only to realize that the car keys were still in my husband’s pocket. I ran back to the gate, pulling my kids behind me.
“Go get my husband fast!” I told the guard.
He looked at me. He looked at my kids. And the guy ran into the depths of the airport to find my husband.
By the time I got back to the car, I was utterly exhausted. I turned the key in the ignition. There was a sputter, then…nothing. I tried again. Not even a sputter. Dead engine.
I checked the time. By now, my husband should have taken off. I dialed his number anyway. Of course, his phone was off.
Leah, I reasoned with myself, you have two kids watching you in the back seat. You can get help or you can cry.
I chose the second option.
I bawled for about five minutes and then I pulled myself together and tried to find some help.
I hauled the kids out of the car and started to scour the parking lot. It was near midnight, and the only people I spotted were a bunch of Russian tourists who had no idea what I wanted from them. We returned to the car, only to realize that my phone battery was very low. Cue: panic.
As I burst into a fresh wave of tears, I smelled cigarette smoke. I looked around in search of the cigarette owner and found him quickly. He was short and bald with a T-shirt and flipflops. He had already spied the red-nosed lady and was approaching the car. “At b’seder?”
I shook my head and pointed toward the engine.
He opened the hood of the car and looked inside. “You need cables, do you have?”
“No.” We did, actually, in the trunk, but how could I have been expected to know that?
He thought for a moment. “Stay here, I’m going to find someone who has cables.” He disappeared. After 20 minutes, I started wondering if he was going to return. After 40 minutes, I realized that he was probably not coming back and I should go in search of someone else to help.
Just then, a car pulled up, and the savior himself emerged, followed by an airport security guard, and a third man who seemed to be on the airport staff but whose job I could not make out. They got to work on my car right away.
When the engine was finally making comforting sounds, one of them looked at the car tires.
“One of your tires is low,” he said. “You can probably make it back home, but it will take me only two minutes to fill.”
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 617)