I got home from work on Saturday around 1pm to find a grey minivan blocking my driveway. That was strange because my dad’s big F150 was parked in my driveway…why would someone see your truck and still block you in? I pulled over on the other side of the road, tapped my horn gently and waited. The woman in the driver seat didn’t move or look my way so I put my car in park and walked up to her window. Knocking gently, I leaned in to see if she was looking my way, but she appeared to be asleep. I knocked a little harder on the glass and she came to, but she still seemed out of it. I pointed at my driveway and motioned for her to back up. As she started slowly (veeeeery slowly) backing up, I quickly pulled into my driveway and ran inside. My dad was on the phone and didn’t notice what was going on. We both looked back out to see that she had backed her van up even more and was parked diagonally in the middle of the street! I live at the base of a long hill with cars passing in two directions and no speed bumps.
I suggested my dad go out and check on her because something just wasn’t right. He approached her vehicle carefully, yelling through the glass because she wouldn’t roll down the window. She was falling in and out of consciousness and she wouldn’t say anything. He asked her multiple times to roll down the window, but she kept cutting on the windshield wipers instead. A few of my neighbors saw what was happening and came out to help my dad. Turns out she spoke Spanish and she finally acknowledged them when my neighbor asked in Spanish whether she was ok. They were getting minimal response from her, she looked even more confused and she was still blocking the road. I called 9-1-1. We needed to act fast if she was having a medical emergency. Can you believe I had to call 9-1-1 5 times to get through?! The circuits were busy 3 times and I was on hold 2 times before finally getting through to dispatch.
While we were waiting, my neighbor finally got the woman to unlock and open her door so he, my dad and two other men could put her van in neutral and push it safely to the curb. My dad was directing traffic and the other guys were talking to her to keep her awake until the EMTs came. She was surrounded by complete strangers who took such great care of her and potentially saved her from a serious emergency.
The whole incident brought up so many emotions for me. I was thankful that she stopped in front of my house and that I had the gut feeling to double check on her. I had flashbacks of my sweet grandpa needing care from many of those same EMTs last year. The look of confusion on her face reminded me of the look in my grandpa’s eyes when he needed help and when he realized that, like we did for that woman, we weren’t leaving his side. I prayed that woman had a family who was wondering where she was and would meet her at the hospital soon. I cried and prayed for her as the ambulance drove off.
Her husband stopped by less than an hour later to pick up the van. He and my dad stood on the front porch and they talked about the husband’s marriage, his wife’s mental and physical state and what happened to her earlier that day. He said that things had gotten difficult with her mental health through the years but that he was committed to staying with her. She suffered a psychotic breakdown combined with loosely medicated high blood pressure and became too disoriented to drive. He wasn’t sure what she was doing on our street, but he was grateful she stopped in front of my house.
The sign in my front yard reads –
In this house we believe:
Black lives matter
Women’s rights are human rights
No human is illegal
Science is real
Water is life
In religious freedom
Love is love
Kindness is everything
Kindness is everything.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
You can purchase this sign and other merch with this message here.