It was just another typical Friday morning for me back here in my home state of Massachusetts. I usually return every year around this time to remember where I'm from and re-visit places like Walden Pond, that remind me why I'm here.
I drove into the center of Shrewsbury early because for some reason, if I sleep in, they never have the sinful chocolate crème filled donuts I usually crave whenever I come home. So off I went to get an early sugar fix and pick my sister-in-law up a breakfast sandwich before she went off to one of her three jobs.
As I was waiting to pay, I saw Lady Gaga on the cover of the Boston Herald and as a fellow singer, I found myself in a selfish moment thinking "Why can't I be on the cover of the Boston Herald?"
Within a minute of my lament, a man came into the donut shop with his triplet daughters (about 5 years old) ~ and as he greeted the guy behind me, it was obvious they hadn't seen each other in a long time. He told him he just got back from Afghanistan and that he was home until October while his wife was going through chemotherapy. There was an appreciation for life in this man's voice I couldn't explain, but felt. And when he told his friend he was taking the girls on some day trips, it was apparent he was also a pretty special dad. Today they were going to the Cape.
I paid for my things and as I left I looked at him and said "How are you?" and he answered,"I'm great, thank you. How are you?"
As I was driving back to my brother's house, my eyes began to well with tears over a man I didn't know. I thought about what he said and the gracious way he said it, and how someone who had obviously so much going on his life, could say he was great and be so genuinely kind.
My sister-in-law was at the coffee machine when I dropped her breakfast sandwich on the counter and said "I'll be right back!" running
into my brothers office to grab one of my CD's.
I jumped into the car praying I would catch the man in the donut shop before he left.
Lucky for me, the center of town is just a couple minutes away, and as I arrived he was leaving with his 3 triplet angels. I got out of the car and I handed him my CD and said "I live in LA but I'm from back here. I overheard your story and thought you might enjoy my music on your ride to the Cape."
And as I drove away, another typical Friday morning turned out to be anything but. In a moment of gratitude, I was reminded why I'm here.
And for a moment like that, to have the gift of sharing a piece of my soul with someone I may never see again ~someone I will never forget, well, I wouldn't trade a moment like that for anything in the world. Not even the cover of the Boston Herald!