Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Lucky Heather"

March 30th was a nippy day in the Cotswold section of England. It also happened to be Ross, my brother’s, 38th birthday. Spencer, my two-year-old son, and I accompanied my husband on another business trip. That particular day my husband attended a meeting in London.
Since my husband was not using our rental car, I drove Spencer and myself to the zoo. It was located down the road from the inn where we were staying. The scenery was exquisite. The wild flowers were in full bloom and the grass was as green as your eyes can imagine.
I pulled the rental car into the parking lot of the zoo, looking up to read, “Zoo Opens March 31.” Crash! Having been pre-occupied with the sign, I drove into a rock wall, blowing out the left front tire. The car slowly tilted and stopped. I jumped out with my heart racing, assessed the damage, thus concluding we were not going anywhere.
There was good reason for my panic: I was not a listed driver on the rental agreement and I left my passport at the inn with my driver’s license. Spencer asked, “What happened, Mama?” I answered, “Oh, nothing, Honey. Just a little bump in the road.”
I noticed a telephone booth a few paces from our car. I dialed the number of the towing company listed on the inside of the booth. The gentleman who answered the telephone told me it was lunchtime for the next two hours. He said he would send a tow truck when the driver returned from his break. I explained I was with a small child. He said to get back in the car and lock the doors. I jumped into the back seat with Spencer and began reading to him from books in my bag.
There was a knock at my window 10 minutes later. I looked up and saw a male police officer. As I cracked open the window, in his distinctly British accent he said, “Hello, I heard you need some help.” I replied, “Well, I do. However, I called a towing company and the man said no one could come for another two hours. Did you just happen to drive by and see us sitting here?” He said, “No. I received a call of a lady and her son in distress. I knew I needed to go to you.” I said, “I did not tell the man at the towing company I have a son, and besides, I did not call the police.”
I hope I adequately describe this person to do him justice. The police officer stood 6 feet 2 inches tall, with short black wavy hair, green eyes, a light olive complexion, rosy cheeks, perfectly straight white teeth, full red lips, a strong build - you get the picture. His smile could be seen for miles, his posture straight and tall. His sense of humor was one to which I am always drawn; he was playful and teasing. You could sense his warmth and caring nature. His eyes glistened like stars.
I’ve never met or even seen a being quite like him. He said he was here to replace my blown tire with the spare. I told him I did not know of an officer to ever change someone’s tire and thought we would be stranded until the tow truck arrived. He put his first finger to his lips and made the shushing sound.
Our special officer let Spencer hand him the tools. When Spencer walked too close to the tire jack, the officer would gently lift him and move him back a few feet. The officer and I joked with one another, primarily about the differences between Americans and the British. We discussed our different foods, nightclubs, music and faiths. As it turned out, he also adopted a spiritual approach to life.
When the spare tire was secure, he pointed me in the direction of an auto repair shop. They would be able to pull the dent out of the front left bumper and repair the flat tire. He said it was close by and very easy to locate. I shook his warm hand and thanked him profusely. I would surely have written a complimentary letter to his supervisor; however, the officer wore no badge. As I drove away, I was amazed he did not ask for the paperwork I was supposed to carry while driving the rented vehicle. Surely, someone was looking out for me.
Just as the policeman instructed, I made a right turn out of the parking lot. Looking in my rearview mirror, I noticed he turned left. The road I turned onto was in the middle of open fields and there were no road signs. I drove for approximately five minutes, sensing something was not right. At that moment, I glanced at my rear view mirror, surprised to see the officer tailing me. I threw my hands in the air as if to say, “I’m lost. Did I make a wrong turn?” He flashed his huge smile, pulled up next to me and yelled out his window, “Follow me!”
 For 20 minutes, I followed him through tiny villages, over railroad tracks and past pubs until we finally came to an industrial area quite a distance from where we started. Again, he pulled up next to me, pointed at the auto shop and said, “Okay, I’m off duty now. These guys will take good care of you.” I asked him, “Who are you?” He reached his arm high in the air, with his middle finger crossed over his first finger, and replied, “I am your Lucky Heather. Don’t you ever forget me.” In an instant, he was gone. The hairs on my arms stood on end, confirming I met one of my angelic guides.
When he first stepped up to my car, I was curious about him. His appearance was too perfect? He “heard” about a lady in distress? I wonder if he ever revealed himself to me before. I will never forget my Lucky Heather.  My life is forever influenced by the encounter with my guardian from seventh heaven. 

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