Sep 26, 2016
You know those times when you are holding on to the coattails of your daily 9-5, just trying to get done all the things on your to do list and reaching for the weekend...? No time to smell the roses but just a time of busyness and checking things off the list... And then all of a sudden you are stopped right in your tracks by a solid dose of LIFE. Well, it happened to me recently and has been on my mind ever since...
That day Chris and I had a lot to get done and one of the things was to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Now, I'll be honest, we had postponed the trip to the DMV for weeks as we were both dreading it. There always seems to be a 3 hour wait and I contemplated bringing a picnic basket just in case we are there all day.
We sat in the chairs facing forward with all the other people waiting there also... I began to people watch and was lulled by the white noise of the automatic announcements... A604, D208, C456.... Some people were clearly NOT happy to be there and were very vocal about it, complaining and arguing with the tellers. After a long wait Chris and I heard our number and we jumped up like we just realized we had BINGO. Chris handed the teller all of our paperwork and they began talking about registration, license, titles, and all that fun stuff. I couldn't help but hear the teller next to me say to the person he was helping, Well why didn't you do this sooner? The woman who was standing there with a young girl smiled and said, I just couldn't bring myself to. This was my son's car. He was killed two years ago when he was leaving a nightclub a couple towns away from here. It was all over the news. He was only 21.
The teller looked at her and said he was so sorry. The young girl looked up and said, He didn't even have a chance to run, three people shot him 6 times right in the parking lot. I could feel my stomach literally flop and couldnt help but watch the teller as he slowly shuffled their paperwork trying to figure out what to say. The mom clearly trying to lighten the mood joked and said, He was a great boy but not the best driver. The teller forced a small smile that quickly disappeared. He handed back to the mom the clear folder with all of the paperwork in it. He kept this all organized just like this in the console. He had everything in there. The mom ran her hand over the folder, clearly proud of her son. The teller said the total to change the title and make the other changes would be $155. The mom and daughter both opened their wallets and laid money on the counter making sure it totaled the right amount. The teller tried to make small talk and asked the daughter where she worked as she had mentioned she was on her way to her job after this. She told him the food was great where she worked but the uniforms weren't her favorite. The teller forced another smile and told them they were all set. Both women thanked the teller so much for all of his help. They began to walk away and as they did, the teller said something to them. I don't know what he said, but the mom turned around, and with a huge smile said, You know I always do. Thank you again so much and have a good one.
I could feel my throat have that hard lump in it... The trying-so-hard-not-to-cry lump. It was an unexpected dose of life that I was having a hard time swallowing. I couldn't take my eyes of the teller as he just watched them as they walked away. His blinks were just a little bit longer and you could tell a million things were going through his mind as he sat there in silence. The buzz of the DMV was loud again and his stare was interrupted by a loud number being called and another person standing in front of him handing over a pile of papers. The teller looked at the DMV exit door one last time and began shuffling the papers and entering information into his computer. Ashley, do you have your license... Ashley? Chris nudged me. It was probably only about 5 minutes, but it seemed like 30 had gone by and I had totally lost track of what Chris had been doing.
This mother and her daughter's faces have stuck with me. The look in the teller's eyes is something I won't forget. The DMV was crazy with a million people, frustrations, and everyone just going through the motions. It was almost as if it was a microcosm of life. Yet here was this mother's story and this moment. It was a beautiful reminder. To be grateful for what I have. To appreciate loved on more those ones dear to us. To not take a breath for granted, not a single one. It reminded me that life is so so precious and completely fragile and shouldn't be lived racing around holding onto its coattails. Roses are meant to be smelled.