"I have NEVER had this happen before but it was everything that we needed in that moment," the wife shared, grateful for the officer's kindness.
You feel your heavy heart become a little bit lighter when somebody is willing to share a moment with you, even if it's a person you have never met before. A couple on the road, making their way to Dallas was able to share a few moments with a state trooper, who made it a journey that they would remember for a long time.
A couple from Conroe, Lanell McGee James and Lamar jumpted into their car soon after they found out that Lamar's brother had passed away.
"As we were traveling to Dallas on Sunday going through Madisonville on 45 I was pulled over by a state trooper for a non-speeding violation," said Lanell, a middle school teacher who shared the incident on Facebook. "When Trooper Bates approached the car he asked where we were headed. I told him to Dallas because we had a death in the family. He asked was it immediate and I said yes my husbands brother."
"He said, 'Oh I’m sorry to hear that, do you know where he is?'" Lanell told FOX 8. "My husband answered 'Yes, at the morgue' and the officer responded 'No. He is now in his heavenly home.'"
Because the death of their brother, Courtney James, was so unexpected for the family, Lanell and her husband were "both moved to tears", hearing the words of the kind man in uniform.
The state trooper, Ross Bates, then asked for their IDs and made his way back to his vehicle. "He came back with a warning and asked if he could pray with us. He removed his hat asked to hold our hands and he prayed with us," Lanell wrote in her post.
The trooper recently became an ordained Christian deacon and has a bible sitting on top of his center console. For the couple who were faced with the sudden loss of a brother, Trooper Bates touched their lives for a brief but impactful moment.
"I have NEVER had this happen before but it was everything that we needed in that moment. Thank you so much Trooper Bates for praying with us!" Lanell said.
Later on, the 16-year Texas DPS veteran was also able to share how he felt about the experience he shared with Lanell.
In a statement that he shared with KHOU11 about the incident, Bates said, "While I was on patrol on Sunday, I met a family in need. They were mourning the unexpected loss of a loved one, and I am humbled that my actions had a positive impact on their lives during this difficult time."
For Bates, too, it turned out to be a meaningful experience because it was the first time he was able to know the depth of the exchange he had with a complete stranger on the road. "As a State Trooper, I’ve met many people who have shared their stories with me," he went on to say. "Often, I don’t hear about the impact I’ve had on them. I am truly humbled by the kind words of Mrs. James, and I will always be grateful that our brief interaction had a positive impact on their family."
After Lanell shared the powerful moment on social media, she received an outpour of love and support from the internet. And later, she expressed her gratitude and said, "Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and with us as well as sent kind words during this difficult time, it has really meant a lot to my family. I never in a million years thought that sharing our photo would go viral but it did and we have received an abundance of love and positive messages. Thank you all again!"