Choosing the Miracle

Last Saturday night, just like every Saturday night, I was on call.  It wasn’t too bad, I called when my shift started and I didn’t have to go in.  I didn’t get called in while the Wonderhusband and I watched or post-kid-bedtime TV (Battlestar Galactica on Netflix).  I brushed my teeth and said my prayers and did all that bedtimey stuff and still nothing.

Until 1:00,  when my pager went off.

So I hauled myself out of bed, found some clothes and headed out into the cold.  And it was cold, somewhere around 20 degrees.

Normally I drive the sedan when I go to work, we don’t so much have his and hers cars as we do work and not work cars.  Whoever goes to work on any particular day takes the sedan leaving the van home with the one of us who has the kids to haul around (or potentially haul around as the case may be).  But the sedan is making a weird rubbing noise whenever it moves (Sean says it’s the brakes) and it was 1 in the morning, it wasn’t likely that there would be a lot of kid hauling for Sean to do, so I took the van.

I drove there, clocked in, settled into a chair at the OR front desk (I’m just on call to come in a hold down the fort in case there’s a trauma while the in-house team has to do cases) I had just opened Netflix on my iTouch and was getting ready to watch the next episode of Friday Night Lights when the case that the in-house team was supposed to do canceled.  Which meant that I could go home.

My hospital is on the campus of the University of Utah, right next to the University hospital.  Because it’s a college campus there’s plenty of public transportation all over the place.  But not so much at 2am on a Saturday. Over the last year or so I’ve made it a habit of picking up people who are stuck on campus and because the public transit is no longer running, unable to get to where they need to go.  In the last year I’ve only picked up, I think, two people, it’s not an overly common occurrence.  Saturday, as I was driving away from the hospital, I passed a group of people walking down the road, on the road, next to the light rail tracks.

Did I mention that it was 2 am and 20 degrees out?  Not a great time for a walk.  I pulled over, backed up, and rolled down the window (which I could do from my seat because I was in the van which has power windows, unlike the sedan…) Did they need a ride?

They did.  But they were going all the way downtown to the homeless shelter, and there were 5 of them.

“It’s just me in my big empty van, hop in.”

They bundled in and mostly chatted amongst themselves during the 10 minute drive. I dropped them off and headed home, no muss no fuss.

Now, maybe it was a coincidence that I drove the van, that I got called in for a case that didn’t end up happening, that I was driving my big empty van down medical drive just as this group of five were realizing that the train wasn’t running and that they’d have to walk all the way downtown in the cold.

Or maybe not.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:31:22

    So great. I don’t make a habit of stopping to pick people up, usually because my van is full of children, but on the occasion that it isn’t, I really should be more like this.
    Life is full of little miracles like this and I believe in them, too.

  2. Julie
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:42:05

    I love this story and I’m glad you told it.

  3. Kristina P.
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:44:07

    Yay for not getting stabbed!

  4. E
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 16:23:59

    You become more and more my hero all the time!

  5. Melanie Jacobson
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 18:37:18

    I love the idea of choosing the miracle. It’s a great way to view life.

  6. Flip flop mama
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 22:11:41

    You are such a wonderful person. You make me want to be better.

  7. madhousewife
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 11:08:06

    Good for you. (And good for them.) 🙂

  8. madhousewife
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 11:09:25

    Also, I love the implications of “Choosing the Miracle.”

  9. bythelbs
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 13:06:00

    I love you.

  10. Chris Jones
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 21:36:57

    Often, you write something that makes me gape with the wonder of being your brother.

    This is one of those times.

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