It’s good to be lucky, grateful

Cristian Vasquez


Not one day goes by when I wake up and don’t thank God for another chance at life. Now, I am not a religious person. I was raised Catholic to the best of my parents’ ability but a strict church-attending schedule was never imposed. However, the women in my life, mom, grandma and my aunt Sofia, always reminded us that when things seem hopeless that we have to pray and have faith that things will come to a resolution. Furthermore, we were constantly reminded to give thanks when things were going well.

Tuesday afternoon I was reminded that not a day goes by when I am not blessed in one way or another. My best friend Robert, his girlfriend Vianca and I were leaving the house to run some errands when I realized my gas tank was almost empty. There are two gas stations a block and a half away from my house. On the north side of the street is a 76 station, which I prefer to use, and on the south side there is USA gas. My first instinct was to go to the 76 station but I remembered that I was not carrying cash. Now, many of you might have noticed that this particular gas station will charge 10 cents more per gallon when paying with a debit or credit card. So I decided to save some pennies and visit the patriotically-named gas station. As I prepared to make a left into the gas station, we noticed a Torrance motorcycle police officer park outside of the more expensive gas station and slowly make his way toward the establishment.

I thought little of the officer’s behavior until I was pumping gas and realized that the gas station we avoided to save a few cents was being robbed. The attendants at USA gas filled me in on what little they knew. I stepped back outside and looked as the police officers ordering everyone out of the gas station with their hands in the air as they attempted to secure the area. One, two, three people were brought out as the officers made strategic decisions to handle the high-pressure situation. As people recorded on their cameras phones in awe of what was happening it dawned on me that in my attempt to save a few meager cents, I avoided walking into the middle of a mess that nobody should ever find themselves in.

As we drove out of the parking lot and made our way on the 405 north, the situation had been contained by the police officers. Still, I couldn’t help but appreciate how lucky we were to have made a left to pump gas instead of turning right. What if scenarios are pointless; yet, had we left five minutes earlier and had I had pulled up into the 76 station, which I usually do, who knows how different that Tuesday afternoon could have turned out?

Some of you might call it luck; others will say we were blessed. Either way I am grateful that my penny-pinching decision kept us away from a traumatic experience.

Making it home Tuesday night after a long day of errands, work and everything in between made me appreciate making it home more than usual.


It’s good to be lucky, grateful