Letters to the Editor

Christmas heroes restored my faith

Greg Clarke, Larry Rubatino and Nicholas Rubatino with Ruth Tumminello’s car in tow. - Courtesy photo
Greg Clarke, Larry Rubatino and Nicholas Rubatino with Ruth Tumminello’s car in tow.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

I recently moved to Port Orchard, and I love it here. I was really looking forward to enjoying the sights and sounds of the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle around town, when, on Dec. 14 my car broke down.

I live up on a hill and far from any possibility of get around.

I also lacked the funds to simply rent a car until I found out why my car died.

Instead of my head filling with visions of sugarplums, I was now trying not to panic.

Why did this happen to me just now? Where am I going to get the money to fix my car?

I have a philosophy from many moments of being the fortunate recipient of help when in need that through such challenges and hardships one can experience miracles of giving and the supernatural, heavenly hands behind it.

This happened to me again in this time of need.

Three men, who didn’t know me in any shape or form beforehand, all gave of their time, resources and expertise and did all of it practically for free.

Larry Rubatino works at Westbay Auto Parts. Have you heard of making a call for parts and having someone come to your home to find the problem without asking anything for it?

This is what Larry did for a stranded old lady.

Larry has a lot of mechanical experience but admitted that he has his limits.

He tried and checked every possibility of why my car won’t start over the course of a few days.

Not only this, but he gave me an extra car that he and his wife have until mine was running again.

This was all so incredible that one can only say that these were angels dressed as humans.

Then, Mark and Sue Million, my landlords (heroes for many themselves), did all they could from their side to help me find the problem and then paid for new spark plugs for me, which Larry brought the next day, while we thought that this just might do it.

Sadly, it didn’t, but Mark and Sue’s kindness remains a part of my engine now.

Corey Ceder, a good friend of Larry’s, who has his own auto repair shop near down town Port Orchard, (C&S Auto Service) came to see my car, too, when all efforts yielded wheezes but no starts from the car.

He told me it probably needed a new timing belt or gears and that he would look at it for me at his shop — for free.

But how would we get it there?

Greg Clarke, another friend of Larry’s, has his own tow-dolly and he and Larry came over, hooked up my car, on Dec. 19 and towed it to Corey’s repair shop.

Again, for free.

Corey fixed the car immediately and for a very fair price.

Thank you, Corey.

So within a week, I had my car again, and it was because one person — Larry, who is a very, very giving person — knew other like-minded friends, who he then mobilized for me.

This experience is especially meaningful for me because, before this all happened, I was thinking a lot about how Christmas is for those really in need, and only getting those we know what they need.

Giving beyond the self is what should mark our Christmas Holiday. I just never thought I would be the one in need, receiving that kind of help from strangers.

Another reason this experience touched me so much is that I had just recently been treated very unfairly (in my view, of course), and was feeling quite down about myself.

This kindness shown to me, helped restore those self-critical feelings.

“I can’t be such a bad person,” I decided, “if I attracted such generous and kind help.”

That thought lifted my spirits once again.

Of course, help should not be offered based on that measurement.

It was simply something I really needed at this moment in my life.

I would like to thank my Christmas heroes — Larry, Mark, Corey and Greg.

May your giving be returned back to you a hundredfold.

RUTH TUMMINELLO

Port Orchard

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