A Little Angel Named Miguel

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I’m convinced after this past weekend that there are lots of little angels in the world. I’m not talking so much about good friends as I am about strangers who enter our lives when we’re lost or need a pick-me-up. More often than not, these angels remain unnamed.

I encountered one of these little helpers last Friday while on my way to Washington, D.C., for a journalism workshop. I was looking forward to the trip but then got worried when I found out that I wouldn’t have a ride from the Dulles Airport to my friend’s house, which was 45 minutes away in Arlington. I didn’t want to be alone in the city late at night, and I didn’t know much about D.C.’s public transportation system, having never been to there before. I wasn’t sure how I would get to the workshop each day, either.

On the way to the airport, we hit traffic. My trusty airport driving buddy, Leslie, had agreed to drive me, not knowing that her car would break down on the way. Pitter, patter, putter. Out it went. The cranberry-colored Saab happened to break down right next to a car crash on a median strip alongside the airport exit. I called AAA and then waited and hoped the tow truck driver would come soon so he could drop me off at the airport before taking Leslie’s car to the mechanic. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Forty-five minutes before my flight left. Still no tow truck. I was about to call a cab when a Super Shuttle pulled alongside the car after a police officer had flagged it down.

The shuttle driver took my bags and put them in the back of the shuttle. I gave Leslie my AAA card and hopped into the shuttle. At that point I didn’t even want to go to D.C. I’d been traveling a lot lately and felt like staying in town for the weekend. As I drove toward the airport, I started to cry.

“Why are you upset?” the shuttle driver asked.

“I’m nervous I’ll miss my flight, and … I don’t know, it’s been a long day.”

He responded with something to the effect of: “Don’t worry. No need to cry. God has a way of making things happen. He will help you. There are lot of reasons to worry in the world, but this isn’t so bad. You will be alright, you will be fine.”

I realized once I got to D.C. that he was right — I didn’t have reason to worry. I made my plane (barely), I took a cab to my friend’s apartment, and I traveled on the metro while in the city, quite easily in fact.

I’ll probably never see the shuttle driver again, but I’ll remember what he did for me, helping to give me. I wanted to know who he was, and I didn’t want him to be forgotten.

As he handed me my bags, I thanked him and asked, “What’s your name?”

“Miguel,” he said, nodding his head and smiling.