I thought I would do one more post about some things that have made me chuckle. Unexpected sprinkles of joy are moments when a happening makes me laugh with guiltless merriment, moments when I actually like something. Occasions when my guilt lets me laugh freely. Those moments where my heart and mind are coming together-a realization that grief is doable, in spite of horrific sadness created by Shawn’s goneness. Moments when I can see I am slowly, yet, mercifully moving forward.
Every year brings new challenges. New passengers, new directions, new or different drivers-who may not know the parking set up for each school.
For route signing, I chose the bus I like, not the route. I have become very comfortable in this particular bus. I drove it before Shawn died, so I do not want to drive another bus. It fits me. We are kind of a team: my bus and I have gone through a trial of having a passenger on the bus-throwing up for over an hour because the sitter was not at his stop. This bus and I have been stuck on ice-over an inch thick-as the mechanic determined. We were stuck on the ice, facing upward on a steep incline, for over an hour with passengers. Spring of 2015, this bus was hit on the center left area, when I was driving. This bus and I have had kindys that would not leave the bus and a parent had to come in and peel the child from under the seats. I have many moments of joy since driving this bus 4+years. Some of those moments I hope to work into other posts.
On the steepest part of my route-the same area I was stuck on ice, there has been a couple I have grown to cherish. The husband is pushing his wife up and down the steep roads- she is in a wheelchair. I have loved their waves and smiles, these past 4+ years. There is a Chinese grandma who has been working so hard on her English. I try to say the same phrase-have a nice day. She waves and tries to repeat back. Her efforts and smiles are precious sprinkles of joy.
Several of my passengers were doing a clapping song thing, on our way to school one morning. I loved how happy they looked while they were concentrating on their moves. It started my mind a thinkin’. On our ride to their homes, I asked if they wanted to do a presentation for the different workers in their school and maybe, somehow, their parents could watch the presentation, as well. ALL were thrilled at the idea. I suggested that it would be safer to sit forward and clap against the seat in front of themselves. I asked for those who knew the song – thing to teach it to the others. We have one practice, each morning after the last stop. It is so fun listening to all the clapping. I asked the older passengers to help come up with a beginning. They did and I added my twist to it. It is called our Blue Bus Wave. It has been fun listening to the K-5th graders, practicing the clapping song. November 15th is the day my passengers have chosen for their presentation. I sure hope the bus video records well. Oh yes, I have told my passengers of my idea for this year’s Christmas song, my passengers loved it !!!
Before last year’s Christmas break, my passengers did a glow stick Christmas song. It was a blast.
At a high school shuttle pick up, waiting to leave, there was a guy riding a skateboard while playing a guitar. I commented how I couldn’t even learn to play my guitar. I commented, to my passengers, that I do is a pretty good Donald Duck. My passengers wanted to hear. I simply said, “I hope all of you have a wonderful day !” The comments were: I sure didn’t expect to hear that good of a duck voice. Yeah, I was expecting some silly noise-she was good”. The chuckles continued as we headed to the next school. The thanks and good- byes were sprinkles of joy, as my passengers left the bus. They still seemed kind of surprised at my Donald Duck voice. Their surprise and laughter were sprinkles of joy.
One afternoon, 3 of us bus drivers were outside at an elementary school, waiting for passengers. Passing the time sharing stories. Well, it was mostly me, but one way or another, I am going to find a way to get these folks to share fun things from their lives. I have no idea why I chose the topic I did. It was a time from my 4th grade year. To start my little tell, I had pointed to my nostrils-indicating the area where I had warts. For whatever reason, “D” roared with laughter. This made all 3 of us bust gut. I proceeded with the rest of the story. Time to load buses. I cannot tell you how many times, in the past few days, I have laughed as I have recalled “D’s” laughter regarding my nose warts. She told me she hadn’t laughed that hard in years. I am still in unbelief that my wart story from 4th grade, could bring sprinkles of joy, but it did.
This may seem silly, but last week, I finished getting my route book labeled with special notations (landmarks, school parking set-ups, nicknames) just in case I need a sub driver. Much happiness.
For some reason, God chose “S’s” radio communications on our all talk bus radios, to make me chuckle. I had several super low moments this past couple of weeks. At the worst moments, “S” was communicating with dispatch about something-then it was her thinking/talking, on the radio about how to make a situation work. So many times I was busting gut, in front of passengers. I am thankful for those sprinkles of joy.
Having finished my route book gave me time to finish the 2014-15 ornaments, which I actually finished this past week. Now to work on the card and mailing labels. I have even started next year’s idea. It has already changed, but until I get the mailing completed, before Thanksgiving, I cannot allow myself to touch the 2016 ornament. Finishing this ornament “Hope” has been a major struggle. Many times I thought my agony over Shawn’s goneness would not let me complete it. So, yes, sprinkles of joy.
Before school started, I couldn’t figure out why I hurt so bad every time I sat in my chair. Bob said I needed to go shopping to find the best deal for a chair that didn’t cause pain. This was not what I wanted to hear. To begin with; I am a 3G shopper: I Go, Grab & Get out as fast as I can. I do not like ANY aspect of shopping. The other dilemma was, Mom had reupholstered our Lazy Boy-rocker, recliner, swivels in a navy blue fabric. I was going to have us keep these for the rest of our lives. Before I could shop, I had to find a way within myself to let go. I went to 2 local stores and asked Bob to go with me to the 3rd store.
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While in the store, I sat on every chair-trying to find the best fit for me. Nothing. As we were heading out the door we entered through, my eyes landed on the one chair I had not sat in. It was brown. As I approached the door, I found myself turning around, I sat down. It was the perfect fit. The perfect chair. My search was over !!! A sprinkle of joy in a not blue chair.
I will close with a photo, from May 28, 2013, of Lil’ PorQ. My sister, Lorrie, had called him God’s distraction. Dad thought his Mom must have been hurt and figured the back porch stoop, a safe place for her baby. I still get sprinkles of joy as I think of our moments watching and recording Lil’ PorQ.
Even though this post is lengthy, my hope is that it will encourage others to find their sprinkle of joy.
Bye for now