I left my Toastmasters meeting early this evening so that I could go to the Operation Red Nose wrap up party.
It was nice to see my colleagues again. But, what was of particular importance was something that happened as I was eating a small piece of ORN cake. A woman came up to me and said, "Is that you, Bev?" I replied that I was, indeed, the person she was seeking.
I didn't recognize her, but she recognized me.
My first year of volunteering for ORN was 2005. One set of clients we were driving home lived over in Dartmouth. As I was driving their car across the bridge, a chunk of ice became detached from one of the trusses on the bridge and smashed into the front windshield, caving it in. My navigator was showered with glass; the clients in the backseat were in shock. 25 years of driving instinct, the muscle memory, kicked in, and I was able to calmly drive the car over the bridge to the office on the other side, where we reported what had happened. The clients ended up driving the car with the caved-in windshield home that evening. I remember begging them not to give us a donation for driving them home as they were facing a huge car repair bill, and they were not well off. They insisted on donating 20 dollars or so, thanked me personally, and left. I shall never forget them. I hope they're doing well.
This story has been told over and over through the years, by people in Operation Red Nose who want to talk about the quality of the volunteers. It was the first year of ORN, and they wanted everything to go perfectly. Due to an act of God, that was not the case. But because I didn't panic, nobody was injured that evening.
The person who got showered with the glass? My navigator? It was the woman who approached me this evening. Allison (maybe, Alison) has been telling this story for years, about how this guy named Bev remained calm and potentially saved the lives of the people in the car that night, or at least prevented us all from suffering some degree of injury.
It was nice to see her after all these years. I had wondered what had happened to her, and now I know.
Of course, I gave her a Bevboy's Blog business card and urged her to look me up on Facebook. I need all the readers I can get.
After all, we shared something special that evening, and it's something that we can tell our children about.
Wait a minute. I don't have any kids.
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