Lynn Marchessault and her two children packed up their car in Georgia and settled in for a long ride. They were going to meet up with Lynn’s husband in Alaska, where he is stationed as a member of the U.S. military.
When they reached the Canadian border, Lynn knew they had to focus. Because of COVID-19 regulations, they had to stick to a strict five-day schedule to reach their destination.
Unfortunately, once they entered Canada, things began to take a turn for the worse. Lynn’s phone didn’t have signal without an internet connection, so they had no GPS. Not to mention, her windshield wipers wouldn’t work, she was having an extremely difficult time driving in the snow (which she had never done before), and she wasn’t allowed to stop anywhere for help because of the travel restrictions.
Before long, she reached her breaking point — but thankfully, a stranger noticed her crying in her car at a gas station. In a Facebook post, Lynn explained that the Good Samaritan, a woman named Teena, checked up on her.
Upon hearing Lynn’s story, she decided to take a look at their tires. As it turned out, despite the car dealership’s assurances that Lynn had all-weather tires, she had summer tires. That’s why she was having so much trouble navigating in the snow. Teena helped Lynn get to a tire shop, and from there, the kindness of strangers grew exponentially!
At the tire shop, the owner helped her swap out her wheels for some that were better suited to the winter weather — even though it was Sunday and the business was actually closed.
Lynn got back on the road, only to stop at a hotel that was meant only for oil field workers. But when Andy the hotel manager saw that Lynn was struggling, he bent the rules to let the mom and her kids spend the night so they didn’t have to get back on the road in bad conditions.
Unable to fathom driving another three days alone, Lynn decided to hire a driver to take them the rest of the way to the Alaskan border, another 1,000 miles away. She reached out to Teena to see if she could help her find someone. Between Teena and the power of social media, they were connected with Gary Bath, a Canadian Ranger who offered to help their family get to Alaska!
Over the course of their three-day drive, Lynn and Gary had great conversations. Plus, he drove “like a champ” through the conditions that had caused her so much anxiety.
The mom was planning to pay for Gary’s trip back home, but by the time they made it to Alaska, Gary’s community had already arranged and paid for a flight to get him safely home!
“Lynn is ex-military, and we had lots of things in common to talk about. The kids were well-behaved, the dogs were totally quiet, and we had a good trip and all got to know each other,” Gary said later. “Thanks to everyone who was involved in donating and helping out; I don’t know if we would be able to finish it and get the job done if it wasn’t for everyone chipping in.”
Time and time again, when Lynn reached her breaking point, the people around her stepped up in a big way to help out. What an incredible reminder that we need each other to get by!
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