A true lesson in thankfulness…
As I sat at the light on the off ramp from the 10 West to come home… a little bell dinged in my beau’s car, signifying a problem. This was now car number 2 in our little family to have some sort of *problem.*
It was the thermostat, and within a matter of seconds I watched the temperature rise from normal to way too hot… and continue to rise. I panicked…What was this? As I tried to reach my beau, I turned the car off hoping to let it cool. Voicemail. I thought for a second and rang him again.
As it rang and started into his voicemail I thought… “Wow … this light is really long, but I guess I’d better turn the car back on so I can drive when it’s green…”
Thinking I could time it just right I turned the car back on. Immediately the thermostat bolted to the top, something POPPED, and what appeared to be smoke (I later realized it was steam) started billowing from the hood. The “perfect” timing was my boyfriend’s voicemail that dinged. All he got on his message was something like “Something’s wrong with your car… oh *(&#@ I think it’s on fire… I’ll call you back!!!”… You can’t plan that.
I was incredibly fortunate to meet a homeless man who was on the corner in need of help. He helped me (read: HE helped ME) lift the hood, wave on traffic with my flashlight, and pour water (another great thing about my beau – he keeps water in his trunk) into the *thingy*…
My observation of being on the other end of causing a traffic jam: Most cars that I blocked by my break down were annoyed, but simply moved on. A few – two? – asked if all was okay (perhaps seeing me with a homeless man coming to my rescue), and one car full of twenty somethings LEANED into their horn and hurled expletives at me – as though I’d chosen to do this.
I love these opportunities in life… the kind where I can say something profoundly inspiring and forgiving, killing them with kindness in some respects… but mostly, I love it when I can just nod and chuckle to myself knowingly, realizing they too must have had a very challenging drive…
Instead I almost ran toward the car, jumping up and down yelling “F*CK YOU! YOU F*CKING ASSHOLE!!!” To which the kids laughed and continued on in their journey.
One opportunity blown, and I didn’t even feel vindicated or better afterward! Go figure!
I knew after all of this, it was time to risk getting home and handling the next car adventure from there. I turned to the homeless man, handed him a pitiful five bucks and got in the car… The thermostat was fine and I made it home.
And what was my lesson in thankfulness? Oh wow. I realized afterward I am so very thankful for so much! The homeless man who showed me that we all have in us the ability to help someone, and are valuable even in our most down and dire circumstances… The fact I had a 2nd car to drive (and get fixed) is a luxury… and the fact I live in a community where in a pinch, I can walk to just about anything… but that I have true, good and beautiful friends that will pick me up and give me a lift if I really need it… That I learned the true value of having grace for other drivers who are slowing or delaying my commute in the future…
Also I know the make, model and license of that car of kids, and I’m gonna’ track them down. HEADS ARE GONNA’ ROLE.
In all things I hope you will be truly thankful for the beautiful scenarios that unfold around you this Thanksgiving… even if they come in the form of a broken down car and being aided by a homeless man. Enjoying Every Moment actually means to not allow any one moment to rob you of who you truly want to be.