Yesterday I was thinking about prior to when I left for basic those few months I spent driving you to your appointments, and the fun we had. Whether it was you making race care noises as you drove your electric wheelchair down the hallway, or simply the way you lit up every room you entered. I was driving by myself yesterday laughing hysterically just reflecting on some incredible moments we shared. Those may have been some of the best months of my life.
When I first thought of you yesterday, it was because of something different. I parked my car at CVS to go run in and get some salt to melt the ice, when I walked right past this employee. It was this kind lady who was salting the sidewalk outside CVS and without paying attention I walked right by her without acknowledging her hello. It wasn’t intentional but I was frustrated because my back was giving me some trouble that I walked eight by her. Immediately I thought of you.
There is no question that you had it worse of medically than I do. You fought like a champion, but what I was most proud of is you did it with a smile on your face. I feel like people would have understand if you spent the last 10 years of your life frustrated from time to time, but you weren’t. Every time I took you to your appointment on Cedar rd. and we valet your van, the valet crew would race to you. I mean tripping over themselves to see who could get to you first and it wasn’t because you were a big tipper. It was because you took the time to learn their names, to stop and talk with them for just a brief moment, to ask them how their families were. In a world where we get so caught up in ourselves, especially when we are struggling, you pushes yourself aside for people you barely knew.
This is why I thought of you yesterday. This kind lady took the brief moment to say hello to me, and I walked right by her as I am sure most of the people do who enter the store. Not only is she outside freezing slipping on ice, but I didn’t even take the time to acknowledge her hello. After I bought what I needed, I put my bags in the car and went up to her to apologize. She was younger than me and as I approached she looked nervous like I was going to complain. As I explained how sorry I was that I walked by her, her entire persona changed. It gave me the best feeling in the world to know such a simple apology could lighten up her day. She let me help her finish salting, and we started hysterically laughing as I was slipping all over the ice. Laughing as hard as you and I used to laugh Papi. Laughing like dad and I laugh, and it made my day. It amazing what happens when you open yourself up to the world around you. I miss you so much sometimes, but you live on through people like this young girl. You changed the world, and moments like yesterday remind me that I want to follow in your footsteps. No matter how bad life seems, somebody always has it worse. As frustrated as I was, simply stopping to apologize to a stranger turned my entire day around. I walked into CVS upset, and I left laughing so hard I was in tears. God works in mysterious ways.
Love you Papi,