Going Out of Their Way

By Kellie Freed

In January of 2014, I was taking my fiancé to pick up his car at the mechanic shop when I experienced the kindness of strangers.

The northeast part of the United States was heading into one of the coldest winters in recent history.  When I picked my boyfriend up from work, the sun was starting to set and the temperature was dropping quickly.

Traffic was at its peak, and I am not very patient in bumper-to-bumper traffic, so I left the highway to take less-traveled roads.  We were sitting at a stoplight when I heard a hissing noise, and looked down to find my temperature gauge in the red and steam pouring out from under my hood.

As soon as the light turned green, I pulled into the parking lot of the church across the street. We popped the hood and discovered one of the radiator hoses in my 14-year-old Honda had given out with the stress of the temperature drop.  Unwilling to wait two hours for a tow truck for something as simple as a bad hose, we called my dad and told him to fill as many big containers as he could find with water and come get us so we could get my car home.  We knew we were in for a very long, very cold wait.  Neither of us were dressed for anything other than being in a warm car, and we huddled miserably inside, watching traffic drive by as the sun set and it grew ever colder.

Suddenly, a very nice BMW pulled into the empty parking lot and drove over to us.  Inside was a very nicely dressed older couple.  They said they saw us while they were waiting at the traffic light and realized how cold we must be.  They invited us into their warm car and adjusted the heater so it was blowing on us.  Dad called to ask me exactly where we were, as he was unfamiliar with the area.  I knew the road enough to drive home, but not well enough to tell him exactly where the church was, and when the gentleman driving the BMW realized that, he asked for my phone and gave my dad very clear directions on how to find us.  They stayed with us until my dad arrived.

They gave us their first names, but I was so frazzled I don’t remember them, and I was far too upset about my car to thank them properly.  They were such a huge blessing, and to this day I am still so thankful to them for going out of their way and taking time out of their lives to stop and help a young couple in need.

Originally published as HeroicStories #864

7 thoughts on “Going Out of Their Way”

  1. Unfortunately, the way our local papers print the news, we are constantly bombarded with negative/disturbing/horrific, etc. stories. Thank you for featuring stories that highlight our better side!

  2. a passing friend in need One of those angel stories. The outcome could have been a couple who could have been extremely cold and miserable
    An older couple who saw a need and acted upon their instincts
    wonderful story and outcome

    • “The outcome could have been a couple who could have been extremely cold and miserable”

      Fay – You have it right. After my dad arrived it took us awhile to get the car home because we had to stop every few miles to dump water back into the radiator because it was just coming right back out the hose. And because the hose was one running to the heater core we were afraid that if we ran the heat it would pull more water through the hose and leak worse. It was so cold in the car that ice formed on the inside of the windows. My boyfriend and I were melting it with our bare hands so that I could see to drive. We would melt a spot and then move our hands and by the time we had a new spot melted the spot I had been seeing out of was iced up again and we started over. The other hero in this story is my dad who stayed with us the whole time and then when we finally made it home, turned around and drove my boyfriend another 45 minute round trip to the garage to pick up his car so that I could get a hot shower and warm up and my boyfriend would have his car so he could give me a ride to work the next day.

  3. I am the author of this story. I do want to change one tiny little detail. They were driving a bmw, not a Mercedes. Totally irrelevant to the story but it bothers me that I wrote that wrong. Not Leo’s error, mine, and if I thought he was actually going to publish it I would have corrected it. Thank you Leo for posting my story.

  4. Thank you. This morning was looking like a hard one.
    Now my day has promise.
    Sometimes life is a little harder.
    Today is going to be good,

  5. Please let everyone know that duct tape could have stopped that leak, even while it was happening. Obviously, one must be careful not to get burned by the steam.)

    Moral: Always carry a roll of duct tape in your car.


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