To understand the mysteries of life you must look around and within. You will see patterns everywhere; patterns that seem to manifest themselves over and over again.
- Bryant H. McGill
Do you have a hobby? Some activity you just love to do on a regular basis? Maybe it’s something other people might find silly, like stamp collecting. Maybe you’re a wannabe Olympian, going for a three-mile run every morning before breakfast. But has your hobby ever saved your life? For Vincenzo Parisi of Daleville, Alabama, a love of collecting items from yard sales may have done exactly that.
According to The Enterprise Ledger, Vincenzo and his wife, Anna May, visit yard sales every Saturday morning, always leaving their home at 6:30 AM to get first pickings when the sales begin, usually at 7.
But the last week of June, Vincenzo spotted a flyer for a yard sale that began at 6:00 AM. The items listed for sale intrigued him. He told his wife that they’d have to get up even earlier than usual to go check it out.
At 5:30 AM, the Parisis stopped at a traffic light on their way to the sale. When the light turned green, Anna May looked at her husband and saw him slump over. His breathing sounded strange. Vincenzo was having a heart attack.
Anna May quickly grabbed the gearshift and put the truck into reverse to stop it from rolling out into the intersection. But she was panicked. She didn’t know what to do. Where could she find help at this time in the morning?
Just then, a vehicle pulled up behind her. Anna stopped the car and turned around. The vehicle was an ambulance.
Anna flagged it down and the paramedics, Todd Phillips and Joe McCullough, quickly got to work on Vincenzo. They performed CPR, restored his heartbeat and got him quickly to the hospital.
Anna was amazed at how quickly help had arrived—before she’d even had a second to call 911. If she and her husband hadn’t been on their way to that yard sale... if they’d still been at home, asleep...
And how had that ambulance come to be in just the right place?
At 5:10 AM, 20 minutes before the Parisis would stop at that traffic light, Todd and Joe were pulling into a service station on the corner. They had just transferred a patient to a local hospital and noticed the gas tank on the ambulance needed a fillup.
That’s when something odd happened.
“We were complaining about how long it was taking to get gas,” Joe told the Ledger. “I walked in to pay the cashier, and she said [the tank] had just crossed $33. It’s nothing unusual for us to get $120.
It took Todd and Joe 20 minutes just to fill up three-quarters of the tank. That’s when they noticed a truck, backing out of the intersection, the driver seemingly in some kind of distress.
Was it just an abnormally slow gas pump? Or something more?
“I shouldn’t be here,” Vincenzo told the Ledger after his recovery. “Somebody was watching out for me. They say the Lord works in mysterious ways. I’ve got something else to do.”
The experience changed Vincenzo and Anna, so much so that they’ve decided to put their hobby on hold for a while.
“None of this stuff is that important to me anymore—not the duck collection or the gun collection,” Parisi told the Ledger. “I have a bucket list—one is taking my grandson deep-sea fishing, another is to see him graduate high school, and finally, I want to see him graduate college.”
The Parisis had begun that day in search of secondhand things... instead, they found a second chance at life.
Has your hobby led you to something unexpected and wonderful? Did changing up your routine one day change your life in ways you never would have imagined? Send your stories to us! They could be selected for the next issue of Mysterious Ways magazine!