If you ask me, life is all about hidden lessons and how you learn from them.
And today was about some tough lessons.
It was just a day full of bad news for me.
First yet another winter storm (this is the fourth in seven days) covered my hometown in ice.
All the kids were out of school and most everything else was closed, but the news never ends, so I had to plan to get across the city on what was practically a choppy municipal ice rink.
That would've been a pain, but unlucky for me, my car wouldn't start.
Not even two months after dumping $500 into the vehicle I affectionately call Mutt, the car went back to the shop.
So far the bill's $450. And the work isn't even done yet. There's more to come Monday. Yay.
This all comes after I finally made some headway on my credit card debt. About $500's worth. So much for progress. I'm back where I started.
By 5 I was already pretty bummed and quite frankly was feeling ridiculously sorry for myself.
My forever-fantastic boyfriend offered to take me to dinner so I could vent a little.
We decided to go to one of our favorite local diners. The food's ok, but the reason we really keep going back is to see our favorite waiter, Kris.
But, of course, unlike every other Friday night ever, Kris wasn't there. I just figured my horrible luck was just continuing.
We had a perfectly ok dinner, and were cashing out at the front when I noticed a sign next to the register.
I recognized the photo immediately. It was Kris.
It turned out that Kris had a heart attack a few nights ago at that very diner. His last moments were on the grease-covered floor.
I just lost it.
My boyfriend and I just sat in the car, silent for a few minutes.
It was especially hard for him. We lost his mother a year and a half ago from a heart attack as well.
It wasn't until I was back home that I really got to thinking.
I spent all day today feeling sorry for myself.
Woe is me. I was unlucky enough to have my car break down. And it's going to be tight for a few months, but I'll be able to absorb the costs of the repairs.
But I'll be around for those payments.
I'll be around for the next time my car breaks down.
And the next time an ice storm makes my commute a little tricky.
My heart breaks for Kris and his family. But I'm so thankful to have had the privilege of knowing him.
And I'm so humbled that he was able to help me one more time.
He was a man with a servant's heart. His last gift to me was some very important perspective.