Monday, August 23, 2010

MBM-A Night at the Airport

So, I've been wanting to start doing a Memorial Box Monday post for quite some time. A bloggy friend of mine over at A Place Called Simplicity does them every Monday. The idea is based on the memorial that the Israelites set up after they crossed the Jordan River into the promised land. Something visual, something tangible to help me remember all the wonderful times that God has provided for me, protected me, and shown me the way in my life. I have to actually find/make a box to keep all the little reminders in. But for now, I think I'm going to put them on top of our movie shelf so they'll be where I can see them. If you want to read more about MBM please go to Linny's page. She came up with it and she explains it so much better than I could.

Anyway, on with the story...

Way back when DH and I were newlyweds (we are coming up on our 10th very, very soon), back before the events of airport extremists... you could still walk all the way out to the gates when someone was leaving on a flight. I hated when he had to go away for work, I still do. So we decided that I would take him to the airport and park, go with him to check in and we'd have something for dinner out by his gate while we waited for his plane to take off. As luck would have it, there was parking in the lot immediately in front of the airport and I didn't have to park in a garage or long term parking. We went in and had a leisurely dinner at the gate and enjoyed the last few minutes that we would have together for a week. He got on his plane and left. Of course, I had to watch the plane taxi out and wait until the plane that I thought was his (cause you really can't keep track of the planes at this airport) take off. I then proceeded to make my way through the airport to go back to my lonely home.

Now, you should know, I was raised in a safe small town by an overprotective paranoid mother who loved us dearly. She was always on the lookout for the boogey man. I however have chosen to not be paranoid, but also not to throw caution to the wind. When I leave to go to the parking lot, I have my keys in my hands before I exit the building, I'm aware of my surroundings, when I get in my car I lock the door first thing of all, I pay attention to whoever might be around me when I'm at the ATM. Cautious, aware, alert, not stupid, but also not paranoid. I don't expect something bad to happen, but I want to try and prevent it if I have the opportunity and be prepare in case I cannot prevent it.

I remember when I was in Junior High, my mom took me to this self-defense seminar. It was a one day thing done by a former police woman. It was very interesting and I wish I could remember more of it... if I had been a little older, maybe I would have. Anyway, she when through the different types of perps, how to recognize them, and how to increase your odds of survival with each one. I remember the petty thief, you best odds are to give him all you got and let him run. You will survive in most cases. There were a lot more in between but then the worst case scenario is the psychopath. Chances are, you aren't getting away alive and you gotta fight from the very beginning. In all cases, do NOT ever allow anyone to take you to another location. Your odds of survival decrease significantly if you have a secondary crime scene, not to mention how bad it will be before you die. You can say, "Kill me here or leave me alone, but I ain't going with you." Another thing that really stuck with me was prevention. If you think someone is following you, turn around and look them in the eye. Convince them that you are confident and not an easy target. Talk to them in a confident voice and chances are, they will not see you as the easy, weak victim that they are looking for. Anyway, I guess I remembered more than I thought. I'd still like to know the other types of predators that I can't remember now and how to deal with them.

So there's your self defense lesson for the day, now back to the airport...

As I was getting ready to exit the building, I got my keys out to have ready. I didn't want to be digging through my purse to find them and not paying attention to my surroundings as I walked out alone. I paused as I crossed the taxi lane and then across the the lot where my car was. It was now about 10:00 at night and I realized that I had never been there before in the dark. I also remember thinking to myself, "It's really dark in this lot. They really ought to do something about that." Then I thought, "There could be someone hiding in between any of these parked cars, jump out at someone as they pass by and drag them back into the darkness before they could make a peep." Now, mind you, I never had thoughts like that. I have always been cautious, but never really expected anything to happen. As that thought crossed my mind, I decided to walk straight down the middle of the driving area rather than close to one side or the other. You know, give me time to see it coming. It's weird but I was so hyper aware and super vigilant.

Sure enough, just as I passed a van, a man came out from the dark space beside it. He was to my left and I knew I had a good ways to go before I got to my car. I continued walking for a few paces. I sensed he was following me. If that was the case, he was up to no good b/c the airport was in the other direction. I somehow got up the courage to turn around and look. There he was. I looked him dead in the eyes. I couldn't talk so I just tried to look confident and continue on. I was closing the gap between me and my car and how I wished for keyless entry. I was trying to figure out what to do when I got there. As I reached the driver's door, I was shocked to see that he had really closed the distance between us and was now at my trunk. (My car was a Honda Civic so he was REALLY close.) I knew, KNEW, that I didn't have time to get the door unlocked, get in, and lock the door behind me. This was it, it was now or never. I drudged up the deepest, loudest, most confident voice I could muster and said, "Is there something I can help you with?" It actually sounded almost irritated as it came out. As in, "You're in my space, dude. Either tell me how to help you or get out of my face." It was interesting. In a split second, I watched him go from being aggressive to being defensive. Evidently, that was not what he was expecting and it threw him off enough to make him reconsider his plans. I was not going down easy and now he knew it. He went all weird like he didn't know what to do and said, "Umm... no. I mean... I... uh... no... no..." Then he just turned and walked away. I watched to make sure that he kept going and as soon as he was far enough, I got in my car, locked the door and pulled out of the lot like nobody's business. Obviously, I was very shaken as I approached the toll booth, but then I got really angry. I turned the car around and went back looking for him. I wanted to know where he was so I could tell the toll booth person to go get him. I was soooo mad.

In hindsight, I cannot believe the details that went into keeping me safe that night. My paranoid mother, the self-defense class, the safe-keeping habits that I already had, the eerie (and most unusual for me) thoughts and feelings that I had as I entered the lot, the booming voice that came out of me but I couldn't have mustered on my own. Truly, God protected me that night. It wasn't until I got home that it really affected me. I started thinking about all the things that 'could have happened.' I was really shook up. It's funny, though. I still go into dark parking lots at night, when I need to. I still don't expect bad things to happen. I'd like to think it's because I trust God in whatever happens.

So, I'm going to have to find an old car key to put in my box. To remind me that God is my Protector.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! An amazing story of God's goodness to you. Amen!!

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  2. From MBM: This is a wonderful story of how God protected you. All you learned including your inner instincts helped you out along with an angel or two I think! Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You
    ~Ron

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  4. oh wow that must have been so scary! praise YHWH for protecting you!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. I am in awe of God's divine protection over you that night and so thankful for all the steps that went into keeping you safe and alert and ready for that man. Thank you so much for posting!

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  6. A child of God said: Thanks for sharing this story! Isn't it amazing that God knew you would need all that led up to this "event"? You were so in tune with Him and you never lost your cool. It just says to me that we serve an awesome God who is our shield and protector. Very encouraging!! Judi

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