“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
— Mother Theresa
There are days when a ride to school is more than a ride.
A courteous young gentleman, one of my children’s classmates, joined us on our morning commute to school. Even though the ride was uneventful, our newest passenger enjoyed himself. My children also seemed pleased. It was a chance to have someone new to talk to and there were plenty of smirks and giggles to go around.
Unfortunately, this young man has a lot on his mind.
His mother is dying.
When his father stopped by yesterday to ask if I could give his son a ride to school, he told me that cancer was taking her. It will come soon, probably within weeks. Although he and his wife have been divorced for some time, I heard the concern in his voice as he talked about what his son is going through. I could almost touch the complex web emotional tangling and untangling itself in his words and feelings. He is worried about his son, as well as his ex-wife.
There was not a lot I could offer other than a ride to school for his son. I also promised to wait until his son approached me to talk about his mother’s condition. When the young gentleman is ready, he’ll talk. Hopefully, when that time comes, I will have figured out something to say.
In the meantime we can offer a bit of normality and stability. It is a small slice of routine for him in a turbulent time. I will take him to school and my wife will pick him up as often as we can. I would not like to walk to the school bus in the dark and rain, alone with those troubles.
I was not sure if I should write about this or not. I hope I made the correct choice. If by chance the father or his son reads this, I hope they know that we are here to support them in any way we can.
Even if it is just a ride to school.
Offered a ride to school and a semblance of normality to a young man who is going through something he should not have to.
I shared this quote with my mum the other day when she was feeling overwhelmed by the problems in her own life and the world at large. It’s helpful to remind ourselves that while we cannot solve everything, we are not helpless either. As you keep reminding me, there is always something small we can do.
Even if we can’t do everything, we can do something. … I hope your mum is feeling less overwhelmed today.
I think this blog post was very touching and I’m glad you posted it. I hope you do think of just the right thing to say or the right question to ask, should the occasion present itself. Maybe if you just keep asking him what he thinks (about his mom)… as he mostly just needs to talk, right?
Thanks for the kind words, Diane.
In the week since I wrote this post, he hasn’t mentioned his mom but once, and that was about how good she makes a turkey sandwich.
He’s got a good heart, even if it is heavy now. My guess is that he’ll talk when he’s ready.