My car started acting up on the weekend. It’s losing contact with the key fob … but it’s not the key fob because it doesn’t recognize both keys.
Yet here I am – right at the start of 4th quarter – with a bazillion meetings booked and I had to get my son to the GO Train Station for the first bus then head into the office. The car didn’t start on first try and I saw the panic in Matt’s face.
“Mom … I have a test this morning.” I have transferred my anxiety and fear of tardiness to my child.
A silent prayer – and I find waiting a minute helps – and the car started. Matt held his breath all the way to the station because traffic – of course – was unusually heavy. He got to the bus in time and I got to the office. If he missed the bus, I would have taken the time to drive him to school so he didn’t have to worry.
The rest of the day seemed to progress without a hitch. Despite the questionable start, the panic on my son’s face (which kills me), I held some very productive meetings.
I was quite pleased with myself at having pulled a “Winston Churchill move” … I told someone to go to hell so tactfully that they are looking forward to the ride there. While it gave me a sizzle of “I won” … I know how it feels to be on the losing side of a sniper comment. I am sure I will pay for it later, thanks to karma.
All was well.
Until I was driving home. Traffic crawled to a halt and I let out an exasperated sigh, which I immediately regretted when it was my turn to stop at the intersection across from a fatality scene. While nothing noteworthy hit the news, somebody died this afternoon on the road. Nine police cars, with the road closed and an officer directing angry drivers who had no idea what was ahead.
One car on the wrong side of the road (pulled over to help?), one van on the grass, with the driver side door open and the driver spilled out onto the road. The police had already covered them with a blanket.
I was ashamed of my first world problem of not getting home in the thirty five minutes I expected. Especially since nothing pressing was waiting for me. Whomever that driver was, he wasn’t going to be going home to his family tonight. I clamped my hand over my mouth in horror at the thought that they didn’t yet know. But I did. A stranger.
We never know what storm someone has walked through. We don’t know what clouds are gathering on our horizon or our loved ones. Or that the person moving slowly in front of you just found out her husband died in an automobile accident and she is still grappling with processing the news. She’s numb and unable to grasp what’s going on outside her own head and heart. Show kindess … for we never know what troubles another human is facing. Those who act the worst are often the most desperate. Sometimes we don’t see it coming and are surprised to learn what fears and demons they were battling.
Lord knows I have acted out of character when completely overwhelmed by life’s hard knocks. I will try to erase the harried thoughts I had before I arrived on the scene and do something nice for someone tomorrow. Pay some kindness forward because we all need kindness to survive.
Prayers for peace to whomever it was on Steeles Ave. E. this afternoon … and your family.
Live in harmony,
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It’s so true. We never know what others are going through. Kindness to strangers. And kindness to the ones closest to us as they can easily bear the brunt of our own frustration. I enjoyed reading this. I was especially entertained by your statement, ” I told someone to go to hell so tactfully that they are looking forward to the ride there.”
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