Just when you thought you couldn’t take anymore, there’s lasagna

Posted On Friday February 21, 2020
Gail and Ron
Gail was involved in a minor collision shortly after her husband Ron passed away

We’ve all been there, that feeling that if just one more thing happens, it will be too much to handle.

Ottawa resident Gail L. was still in shock over the recent passing of her husband Ron after 41 years of marriage, so it’s understandable her resilience was already stretched to the limit when she was in a collision on February 5, 2020.

“It was minor,” she said, “but I had forgotten my cell phone at home and couldn’t call for help.  I sat in my car, crying uncontrollably and feeling overly emotional.”

Minor collisions don’t require a police officer to attend, so it was a patrol officer who just happened to be going by who saw Gail’s hazard lights on and stopped to check on her.

The 17 year veteran of the OPS offered to help.

“I was too upset to give her the phone number of a friend,” said Gail, “so I told her the street they were on and she found them. And then when my CAA card didn’t work, she made arrangements for a tow for me.”

The officer waited with Gail until friends arrived.

But the officer continued to think about Gail after her shift. “Some people touch you,” she said. “You know you were there for a reason at a time when they are feeling their worst. It makes you want to do anything you can to make it better and maybe even put a smile on their face.”

To Gail’s surprise, the officer stopped by her house the next day to check on her, with soup and a lasagna in hand.

“How amazing is that?” asked Gail. “This officer didn’t make me feel weak or stupid but treated me with kindness and respect. I am so extremely grateful. Of all the times I needed someone, this was it.”

This kindness helped Gail turn a corner with her grief. “Ron told me I would be alright and that I was strong. Because of this officer’s actions, I feel stronger and more secure now. I think it’s extremely important for others to know everything is not bad and horrible around us.”

Gail was able to share a story about the love of her life with a smile. “When Ron asked me to marry him, I immediately said ‘yes’ and asked him when. He said, ‘when do you want to get married?’ I always liked May and he agreed. But a few months later, he didn’t want to wait that long. ‘Let’s get married in January,’ he said. But we couldn’t, because the invitations were already printed.”

As a young bride, Gail wondered what one does with the same person for the rest of their lives. “Now I look back at our marriage and think, 41 ½ years was not near long enough.”

Although she misses him desperately, she says, “I’m encouraged I’ll get through this difficult time thanks to angels like this officer who helped me.”