Saturday started off as a pretty normal day in my house. There was some excitement later as the oldest was getting home from a week at her favorite camp later that day. The week with her gone is great, she has a blast and we just have one less body to bump into when trying to move around the house. But, I do miss her and getting her back brings us all back to normal a little bit.
At 8:30 a.m. I asked my youngest and my wife if they wanted to grab a coffee. It was a beautiful day, so we decided to bring our dog, Max for the ride. We went to my daughters favorite coffee place, this little drive thru, and went on our way. But, instead of driving home and relaxing there I asked my youngest if she wanted to go to our spot and drink the coffees. Of course she said yes and so we drove to the local beach. We have done this a few times. Just park, drink our coffees and watch the waves hit the shore. We put on some acoustic music or something light and just enjoy the view. nothing special at all, just a few minutes to sit and be together. After a few minutes the coffees were almost gone so we started to drive home. We got towards the main road and there was a ton of traffic. I looked up and I started to see a bunch of trucks all in a row driving past us. I then remembered there was an event for a little boy in our town that morning.
Without going into too much detail, that little boy has cancer and with his immune system affected he can’t leave his house. He lives on a main road and people have been coming up to his window just to say hi. There have been bands coming to see him, local theater companies performing on his front lawn and even a message from Tom Brady.
I remembered that there was going to be a truck show for him today. Anyone with a truck would meet at a local company and then would all drive by his house and honk their horns so he could see all those awesomely big trucks while he was stuck inside his house. As we sat at the light and waited, we got to see all the trucks go by as police were escorting all the trucks. There was between 100 and a billion trucks. I honestly lost count. We watched and I asked the wife if I should turn around and go a different way home since this was going to take forever to go home this way, but I thought better of it and said that we can just wait and take our normal way home, which happened to be right by his house. We waited and waited and waited in traffic, and we finished our coffees and talked about this little boy and his story.
As we approached his house we were stopped about three house before his so that more trucks could pass and so that many of the people in the trucks could stop and say hi to the boy. I started to get a little overwhelmed with the whole thing. I thought about him, his family and about my cousin and his little girl fighting cancer as I type this. All the normal thoughts of how unfair cancer is, about how it happens to all the wrong people. And morbidly, I thought about my little cousin who died of cancer at the age of 5. I remembered seeing that tiny little casket and I started to tear up.
I also saw the good in people though. There were so many trucks driving by this little boys house. Most people just taking a few minutes out of their day to make a 3 year old smile. To see him laugh and be amazed by all the big trucks. For us, it was a 30 minute traffic delay, it was a way to see a community come together, it was a reminder that while we all are different, we are still all just humans. It was a small way to connect with my wife and youngest daughter for a few minutes. A way to recenter us a bit, all the dumb fights are just that, dumb. They mean nothing compared to what was happening 10 feet from us. The big stuff to us seemed a little smaller, and the small stuff to us disappeared.
I think about the traffic this incident caused and I think about how people who had no clue why there was traffic were probably pissed off, in a rush to be somewhere, or being 10 minutes late to some appointment. None of that matters to that little boy or his family. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating that everyone is carrying around a backpack filled with whatever is going on in their lives. Sometimes the backpack is empty and you can sort of just skip thru the day without a care in the world, but sometimes, that backpack is filled with so much more. Sometimes that backpack is so filled with worries you don’t know if you will have the strength to take one more step.
So, when you speeding thru this life and someone much slower gets in your way just maybe think about that backpack. Show some patience or understanding and let them go at their pace, no need to beep at them or yell at them to move so you can continue at your speed. Don’t compare yourself to others, you have no idea how many steps it took for them to get to where they are. I needed that reminder and little Quinn gave that to me. He has no idea who I am, but on a lazy Saturday morning he gave me a nice little moment with my family and a few tears of appreciation of the life I have.
Categories: Adventures of Me