I cried on the way to work today.
My commute is about 35 miles in the barren prairie of northwestern Minnesota. I’m lucky if I pass five cars some days. It makes for lots of pondering time or just singing along to the radio.
This particular morning, the radio station DJ’s were collecting donations for the Children’s Miracle Network. For one hour only, our local grocery stores would MATCH our donation!
I kept driving, eyes on the road.
Then, a mother came on and told the story of her twin daughters who were born way too early and the heart wrenching journey of one of the twin’s struggle for life. The Children’s Miracle Network had paid for the machines that kept this baby alive.
One expects these stories to end happily. This one did not and her precious baby died in her arms. This brave mother believed her purpose in life was now to help the remaining twin to know of the strength and love her dying sister brought to all of them.
Sobbing, I had to pull over on the road and dig for a Kleenex.
While sitting there, stopped on a path that resembled what Antarctica must look like, I broke down. I have never known the kind of pain a parent goes through at the loss of a child, or the worry of a childhood illness that could take their life. My own four children are grown and healthy, never even a broken bone.
Such a pillowed life I’ve led.
I reached for my phone to call in my donation. They even said my name on the radio.
My issues did not seem so big today: a laptop that quit working (I got a loaner) , my pants seem to be getting smaller (put on a dress instead), and our dog ran away just before we had to leave for work (found her at the neighbors looking in their patio door).
Some days we need a story to wake us up to what really matters.
I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March. To check out other writers, visit here.
6 thoughts on “What Really Matters ~ SOL #1 ~ 2018”
Northwestern Minnesota?! We’re neighbors!! Ok, granted, being neighbors in these vast states means it’s still probably a 10 hr drive! But I can relate to that commute. The quiet open space where so much thinking and wondering happens. Stories like these do put our daily problems into perspective. “Pillowed life” is a phrase that will stick with me. And so very glad to see you here slicing.
Shari, your description of this moment on a barren road is so sharp. I feel as if I am in the car welling up with tears myself. Thank you for sharing.
I’ve led the same pillowed life with two healthy happy grown children. I can’t imagine what that mother has gone through.
I’m in the Chicago area and one of our local radio stations has a similar telethon for Lurie Children’s Hospital. You can’t help but cry listening to those stories. I’m not sure which I cry more over — the happy ones or the sad ones. They both leave me sobbing and brimming with gratitude for my healthy children and grandchildren!
Shari, I can honestly say I do not miss that drive. Those lonely, naked roads. If they had feelings, they would be incredibly sad. It must be very comfortable though. You have known these all your life.
Like Beth, that phrase “pillowed life” will stick with me. The last “wake up call” led me to the book of Job. Now that’s a man that withstood a lot of hardship. Whoa!
It is all about perspective, isn’t it? Your photos helps me imagine what your commute is like – lots of time to think.