Approximately one hour ago, I was on my knees, bent completely over, face resting on my forearm, on the concrete floor of an indoor farmer’s market. The dominant scent from the floor was fishy and I was dressed in navy blue work slacks. None of that mattered. I was conscious of the fact that I could faint for the first time in over 15 years and I was intensely petitioning the Father, “Please do not let me pass out.” The thought of doing so in a public place without a trusted companion near was terrifying.
My plight was the consequence of being exposed for almost 2 hours to the unrelenting sun, in 98 degree temperatures, which is the norm for a summer afternoon in the part of Texas where I live. What created this situation? Car problems.
This morning, I got into my car to leave for work and when I attempted to start my car, the engine seemed to hesitate for a few seconds then responded normally. I shrugged, sure that nothing could really be wrong. After all, I had taken my car to the dealership the day before for an oil change and a multiple point inspection.
The inaccuracy of this assumption was made clear at the end of my work day when I got into my car, with plans to run a few errands before heading home. I followed the usual routine but got an unusual response from my car. None. After attempting unsuccessfully several times to start the car, I realized I needed helped. I called AAA, appreciating the fact that I had renewed my membership just about three weeks ago, after a lapse of over 9 months. The tow truck driver who came jump started the engine and said the battery is likely “weak.”
Off I headed to the AutoZone, where I had purchased the car battery. About one mile into the drive, the engine suddenly died, without any warning, as I waited at a traffic light. Anxiety began to make its presence felt. I got out of the car to let the drivers behind me know what had happened. The two immediately behind me came to my rescue and provided enough momentum for me to coast into the parking lot of the nearby farmers’ market.
The car stopped on an incline and another stranger asked if I needed help. He was unable to move the car on his own so he enlisted the help of his roommate. Together they moved my car into the parking lot of their apartment complex. They looked under the hood and did the stuff people with more knowledge of cars than I have do in situations like this, and they speculated the cause could be electrical in nature. To shorten this story, a second tow truck driver came, decided not to charge me for the extra mileage and took my car to the dealership.
While waiting for a friend to give me a ride home, I began to feel light headed and walked into the farmer’s market to purchase a beverage. No water was visible and I asked the cashier if they sold water. She said no but offered to get me a bottle from “the back.” She give it to me free of charge. I took a sip and realize the feeling that I was going to pass out was increasing. I asked if I could sit on a nearby stool and she give me permission to do so. I continued to feel faint. Purse, lunch bag, bottle of water, light sweater now on the counter, head between my knees, based on information which said this position helps. Still felt faint. I went to my knees without a word and heard a man asked, “Ma’am, are you okay?” I raised my left palm without lifting my head from my forearm, in my bent completely over position on the concrete floor, of an indoor farmers’ market, where the dominant scent from the floor was fishy and I was dressed in navy blue work slacks. None of that mattered.
You must understand that I am not a woman to walk barefoot on anything but carpeted, tiled, or wooden floors. I typically put a towel or some form of covering on a park bench or the grass before sitting. I would like to think the fact that my parents named me after a well-known queen in the Bible, combined with the strict “What-it-means-to-be-a-lady- rules” instilled in me by my older sisters, have something to do with these behaviors. But I realize it could be that I just need to lighten up.
I share the details of my experience on the floor to highlight the nature of the situation that would cause me to forget all about being proper, in my attempt to hold off the more imminent threat of fainting.
May this experience help me to adopt, in a more permanent manner, the mindset of giving proper priority to what really matters instead of caring about superficial things such as my image, how I appear to others. I realized also that I could not recall ever expressing gratitude for the thousands of times I drove my car without experiencing problems. Umm. Our Father does have a way of teaching us lessons in unexpected places and when we least expect them.