My McDonald's Angel
By Pamela • October 11, 2019
It all started as I landed at the Toronto airport a day late - my airport of origination was surrounded by flooded streets and all flights were cancelled the day before.
At 6pm, I was tired from a long day of traveling from the southern tip of Texas. To my surprise, and horror, the rental car service I found on the internet - note to self - go brand-name next time, was closed!
I had no rent car on a Saturday night in a large metropolitan area and still had almost a two hours drive to my lodging! After navigating my way through multiple terminals, with the help of other travelers and airport workers who clearly recognized the "lost puppy" look on my face, I found the area with eight rental car companies.
Bingo I'll just whip out the credit card and get another car.
I started at the end of the row and worked my way down as each employee said "sorry, we are sold out". It was all I could do to fight back the tears. I should have already been well on my way to Niagara Falls for my mini vacation before my business began on Monday. The lovely young woman at the LAST counter I visited, really took pity on me and went around to the back office and came back with a set of car keys and a smile!
This is where it gets tricky. I thought the GPS on my phone would work just fine, and realized that I was terribly mistaken. I called my husband and he proceeded to "navigate" me, over the phone, in a foreign country, as I drove in the dark. When I say dark, it was dark! No highway lighting, no overhead street signs, and for miles and miles, no exits or signs of civilization. By this time, I was tired and hungry and numb and certain I was going the wrong direction.
Alas! I found an exit, turned left and saw the first signs of life...a neighborhood! I had my husband on the phone still, threw the car into park with the engine running , opened the car door and asked a complete stranger who was washing his car, oddly enough in the dark, for directions. He could see this weary traveler was desperate for help. Just about a mile down the road, there were signs of civilization that gave me hope like a giant beacon - well, it was the "Golden Arches" beacon of McDonalds! Not my usual dining choice, but at the time I would have eaten shoe leather!
So, it's about 8:30pm and I should have happily arrived at my final destination by now. I walk in to get food and more directions; and it is full of teenagers.
Ironically, I am a Life Coach for Teenagers, but wasn't 'feeling the love' at this moment. My hopes for anyone taking sympathy on me was diminishing fast...until I saw Mary. She was standing next to me waiting for her order, and I touched her on the shoulder as she turned around. I asked for help and it was like a saw an angel.
"Are you getting this to-go?", she asked. "Don't worry, I'll drive you to the highway that will take you straight there. Just follow me. Where are you staying? I'll get the directions for you and text them to your phone when I get back home".
I felt a huge burden lifted from my shoulders and also a fullness in my heart because of the kindness of this stranger. She drove out of her way, for many miles, as I followed, to help me find My way.
I will never forget her eagerness and determination to make sure I was going to be OK.
My forever McDonald's Angel, Mary.
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