Kids. They’re a work in progress. They’re going to be careless. Sometimes you just want to shake some sense into them. (Not literally, but you know what I mean.)
This past year has been a truly trying one for me. There’s been anger, hurt, aggravation, disappointment beyond disappointment, terror beyond any terror I’ve ever known, and so much heartache I thought the anguish was squeezing the life right out of my heart. Through it all, it’s been why did I let this happen? Why would I put myself through this? Why did I give in to my heart and let myself believe he loves me? Why did I take a chance? Why would I be so mean to myself and let this happen?
Life is odd and many times there are no answers. We just don’t find them. People resolve to, “God works in mysterious ways.”, and I’m a true believer of this. He does. Though, I’ll admit I still to this day haven’t figured out why my baby girl was taken from me. I don’t know if that comes from the anguish of a mother who can never find a good reason, but I know there’s one out there. I could have already passed by the reason and my heart refused to see it. I don’t know.
Ok, on to the point of this post.
As I sat on my sister’s porch this lovely early afternoon day, I decided today is the day I’m going to force myself on everyone that goes down this sidewalk! I thought it’d be fun to have some crazy lady strike up a conversation they had no desire to spend time with, interrupt their day, their little journey through this little town. So my simple minded fun began.
1st Victim: Kid next door (who has avoided the old lady on the porch at all cost it seems. LOL)
Me: That’s a nice dog.
Conversation could have ended there, but I’m on my “nope, you ain’t getting away that easy” mission.
Me: Is that a Pit Bull? (I knew it wasn’t.)
Kid: No he’s a Boxer. (kid turns his back and starts to walk away)
Me: What’s his name?
Ok, this fun’s over with this kid. I’ve gotten all the aggravation fun out of him I want.
Victim 2: Old lady on a bike. She rides by here everyday and my sister has told me she’s a mean one, so perfect!
Me: Wish I had a bike! I’d be out there right along with you!
Old lady: Stopped her bike. (Surprised me.) Yep, I ride down the bike trail too. It’s real nice.
Me: (This old lady has flipped the game on me. What’s this? She stopped? LOL, what now?) I bet it’s nice! I see you out here every day and I’m so jealous!
Old lady: Yep, I ride 7 miles. Sometimes 6 on the bike trail, it’s real nice.
Me: That’s awesome! But I’m sure it must be nice to ride on, you know smooth side walks? (Really stretching it now to take my game back. Ain’t no old lady gonna change the rules!)
Old lady: Yes, but the bike trails are real nice and I can go faster. (LOL faster? She’s an old lady! My first thought is, “That’s dangerous old lady!”) Yes, let me see. I’ve fallen 3 times on the sidewalks. (Starts looking around the area to remember where and why.) My wheel got caught in a crack and then there was another time, and I fell in the sand one time. (Old lady won the game.)
Me: Oh no! That’s awful! You have to be careful!
Old lady: Yes, good thing is I didn’t break nothing. That’s the good thing.
Me: Yeah! I don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself! Please be careful! (Old lady slam dunked me on that one.)
Old lady: Well, I better get going. Nice talking to you.
Me: Nice talking to you too. Be careful!
Well that’s just great God. You flipped it on me! In my face with that one! Nice one! You got me! (Who says a lesson can’t come from God getting his giggle on?)
As the old lady rolls down the sidewalk, here comes 4 very young boys on their bikes heading right for her.
1st boy: I’m going to cross over so I don’t run into this old lady!
2nd boy: Says nothing.
3rd boy: Says nothing.
4th boy: Says nothing.
Note: 30 minutes or so prior I was sitting on the front porch enjoying my first cup of coffee and people watching. These same 4 boy went by, the 1st boy and oldest running and the younger 3 following their leader on their bikes. The 1st boy looked at traffic to be sure it was clear for him. The 2nd and 3rd boys kinda checked, but not good enough for the mother in me as my head started to do that “are you kidding me?” nod. And the 4th boy? He didn’t even look to see if there were any cars coming! Now the mom head was just disgusted and nodding like a crazy woman! What if a car had been coming?! I was scolding that boy so bad in my head! Started thinking, “I need to find where this kid lives and tell his parents, “he trusts that if it’s ok for his buddies to take off across this VERY BUSY MAIN ROAD through this little rinky dinky town, it’s safe.”, and tell them how I know. But, I’m not from here so I had no idea where to take my complaint. So, I resolved to calling my mom and griping to her about it instead.
Now as I sat on the porch enjoying my “smarty pants” game that old lady flipped on me, here come the boys.
1st boy: Flies past me and looks at traffic. Must have thought, “I can beat that car!” and zooms on across to the other side.
Me: Dammit! Their gonna follow!
2nd and 3rd boys: Must have seen the car and took the right route over the side street (WITHOUT LOOKING TOO! but thankfully no car coming up to the stop sign.) and on down the sidewalk the rolled.
4th boy: He passes by me. Fast. His bike left the sidewalk and was on the side street. I knew it! He’s gonna follow boy #1! AND WITHOUT LOOKING! Just assuming it’s safe! He turned his bike to cross with the car no more than 3 car lengths away. I jumped up and yelled loud! “WATCH THE CAR!” and boy #4 yanked his handle bars to the left hard, turned his head back toward me (almost hit the front of the parked car that blinded his view of that car coming up the road) and as I saw his eyes that car passed along side him. It was that close.
I sat on the porch. Feeling sick to my stomach. My heart was racing. I was so thankful. What if I hadn’t been playing my stupid little “let me see who I can aggravate for fun today!” game. What if I hadn’t been sitting on the porch. What if I hadn’t stopped the old lady? What if I hadn’t been people watching? What if I was pouring another cup of coffee? What if I hadn’t been “on mom guard”? What if?!
There was no time for that boy to change what would have been his fate, the driver’s fate, the other 3 boys fate, and his parent’s fate. No time. None.
After I called my mom I was still so stirred up over this I called my daughter. During our conversation she told me one of Joey’s sister’s friends (Joey is Steph’s boyfriend) has her 15 yr old son laying in a hospital bed for two days now brain dead.
Steph: From what they have pieced together about his accident; he was on his bike, didn’t look and was hit by a car on his left side.
My thought immediately went to, “The same side as boy #4. ”
Me: No. (crying quietly) I can feel his mom’s 1st moment. My heart hurts for her. I can feel her 2nd moment of hurt. I can feel her heart. I feel so bad for her.
And now I say this.
“Thank you God for all the pain, misery, disappointment, terror, heartache, struggles, and all I’ve complained about and asked you to help me change for months now. Thank you for putting me on the porch being my smarty pants self. I know now, you had a job for me. Game well played.”
I’m not overly religious, and I would never refer to myself as a “bible preaching saint”. But I am a believer, I have my own relationship I share with God, and I’ll get mad at you if you offend that. It’s not perfect because I know I should pay more attention to him. But, that’s my own thing and I’ve been trying to do better.
I’m sharing this story with you not to include you as a victim of my smarty pants game. But because it’s not often we know in our heart of hearts God has spoken to us and answered the big “Why?” question. And I’m as sure as I am typing these words right now, he did this very thing for me today.