February holds a couple of anniversaries that aren’t altogether pleasant for me. One of those days is February 5th because that’s the date I had a gun held to my head and I thought that both my son and I were going to be killed. God got us through that harrowing night safely. But in February I think about the armed robbers.
I thought it was just an ordinary night.
On February 5, 2003 I went to pick up Pete from the gas station where he was working in a neighboring town. It was around 11:00 p.m. and the station was on a busy road but in an area that didn’t have neighboring businesses that were open that late. There were homes across the road but they didn’t face the main road.
Although Pete usually drove himself I had agreed to drop him off and pick him up that night. Looking back I’m sure it was God who arranged that. Pete is not afraid of a fight and the odds don’t seem to matter to him. Although I will fight, even physically, if necessary it’s better sometimes to be calm. It was that night.
God will take care of us.
I was sitting in my car waiting for Pete and the young lady working with him to finish closing the station. I’d pulled up in front of the big windows in front so they’d know I’d arrived. While I was there I began thinking what would happen if someone came to rob the place. It was a really strange thought since crime isn’t a big problem even in the larger town where the gas station was located. And as soon as I had the thought about the station being robbed I thought, “God will take care of us.”
Because I could see Pete and his co-worker were nearly done I pulled to the side of the station where the door they would exit is located. The thought of armed robbers had already been forgotten. I was listening to the radio when I heard a tap on the passenger side window. It startled me because that side of the car was facing away from the station and there was nothing beyond the car but a dark field.
Afraid but not terrified
I looked over and saw a person standing there, a bandana covering his face, holding a gun. My first thought was that it was some friend of Pete’s who decided to play a terrible joke on me. But instantly I knew that wasn’t it.
The person kept the gun pointed at me as he walked around the front of the car. He used the weapon to motion for me to get out. I wanted to get my cane but I was afraid he’d think I was reaching for a gun. I opened the door and pulled myself out of the car.
He pointed the gun at my chest and told me to have Pete open the door of the station. I remember noticing the gun was a .38 long barrel revolver with a wooden grip. It was then that I saw a second masked person walk from behind my car. “Two will be harder to handle.” I thought nervously.
But suddenly I knew exactly what to do. I stepped toward the gunman until the weapon was pressed against my chest. And I uttered the word I’d repeat several times that night. “No.”
Images courtesy of KION and Self Defense World