I've been gone a while haven't I? If anyone is still left who has any interest in what I have to say, well then, thanks for hanging in there.
I will get into why I've been gone in another post. It's not a particularly interesting story. It begins with I have eight kids and ends with the end of soccer, dance, and Shakespeare play season. You can probably fill in the blanks.
So in the meantime I have a nice story for you. I am writing from Savannah, my parents home to be specific. My older boys, Ryan and Kevin, came down for a visit about ten days ago. So the three big girls, the twins, Brendan and I hopped into the car Monday and drove down here. David is flying down tomorrow to join us (hey, he's no dummy).
Sounds simple right? You gullible reader. It was a flippin' nightmare. I hit traffic in every single state we drove through. Erin was horrendously car sick, Brendan decided his love affair with the car was over and I was a might frazzled. The worst was North Carolina. Do you live in North Carolina? What is going on in that state? they have about 50 miles of I95 down to one lane. It opens to two lanes for a mile or two and then back to one lane. It took me three hours to go half a mile at one point.
After that I decided to stop for dinner. We were still a good three hours from our hotel and the kids were fried. So I find their favorite roadside stop, Cracker Barrel, and we stop for dinner. The people at CB were courteous as always and sat us at the big round table in the very front of the restaurant. I always request this table because there is a lot of room and a good avenue for escape should the natives get restless. So we are sitting there waiting for our food, grateful to be out of the stinky van and a jolly elderly man walks past the table and compliments the children for their good behavior. They really were being very good. I thanked him (calling him "sir") and he left. A few minutes later the waitress came over to tell me that Mr. Spivey had paid my bill.
He was so impressed with my children and their behavior he wanted to do something nice for us. She went on to tell me that he has lung cancer and the chemo was not helping. The children and I immediately said a Hail Mary for dear Mr. Spivey. Yes, we are the kind of people that pray out loud in restaurants.
What a kind man. I have to tell you I was running on empty at that point. Dreading the car ride and checking six cranky (and gross smelling) kids into a hotel late at night. Mr. Spivey's act of kindness bolstered my strength and called my mind to the suffering of others. What I was going through was absolutely nothing compared to the suffering of many. Here in the midst of an awful illness this wonderful man saw something in us and wanted to be kind. I wept a little for him and for those that love him. If he does not recover their loss will be great.
May I ask you all to say an Ave for Mr. Spivey. Perhaps Our Lady can ask for a miraculous cure for him.
As for the rest of our trip, it was fairly uneventful. We arrived at the hotel at 10:00p.m. Five hours later than usual. But there was 24 hour room service so Erin, Katie and I put the littles to bed and ordered fudge brownie sundaes. There was a DIY car wash in front of the hotel so I was able to de-stinkify the van and in general make everyone more comfortable. There was no more construction and South Carolina flew by. So quickly that toward the end of the trip I made the aquaintance of a certain member of South Carolina law enforcement. I am now poorer $81 and two points on my license.
Next time I'm flying.