By Tom Hinkle
---- — When I sat down to speak with one of my co-workers in August, she related a story of how she met an angel the night before. Not the kind with a halo and wings, but an angel nonetheless. Now, I’m retelling this story from memory, so if some of the details are inaccurate, please forgive me, but the gist of the story is what’s important.
My co-worker, I’ll call her Helen, said she sent her 8-year-old daughter, I’ll call her Ashley, off to school on the school bus like any other day. But, when Ashley didn’t come home on time, she began to worry. Helen said finally, almost two hours late, Ashley came walking home with an angel walking beside her, holding her little 8-year-old hand. Somewhere in the shock, confusion, panic, relief, and anger, the angel disappeared.
It seems the bus driver, for whatever reason, told Ashley to get off the bus. Ashley tried to tell the bus driver that she was at the wrong location, but the driver told her to get off anyway. Now, I’m sure the bus driver will have a different story, but the result is the same. Ashley gets off the bus in a strange neighborhood, lost and confused, and doesn’t know where to go, so she starts walking.
So, Ashley is walking, walking, walking, and she is lost, confused and frightened. Finally, this lady, Helen calls her an angel, stops her car, and offers to help. She knows better than to try to coax Ashley into her car, so she stops, parks her car, and offers to walk Ashley home. Ashley knows her address, so she tells her, and they begin walking, hand in hand.
Part of the journey takes them down a very busy street, which would have been very, very dangerous for an 8- year-old girl by herself. You can only imagine what could have happened, not the least of which is kidnapping, raping, torturing, murdering, or being hit and killed by a vehicle. All of that went through Helen’s mind, and when Ashley told her what happened, she was hot. Needless to say, she was on the phone, and she said that bus driver was fired, which she should have been.
Helen said she was going to take Ashley and find that angel, and give her flowers. I asked her how she would find her. She said she had a pretty good idea of where she lives, but she said she would go door to door if she had to. She said in all the confusion, she forgot to thank her, or at the least, give her a ride back to her car, and she wanted to show her appreciation.
I often write letters to the newspaper criticizing politicians, because I believe they don’t have the people’s best interests at heart. They only care about one thing — themselves. But, I believe in the people of America, especially in Anderson. I believe most people are good people. Stories like this reinforce that belief, and I wanted to share it.