January 20, 2008

Burger King, more than fast food...

Sunday was an interesting day. We had been planning all week to go to a Korean House down the road. So we got all geared up for the hike, fully outfitted the stroller, and went down stairs only to find an extremely cold, unseasonably wintry, Daytona Beach.

We only lasted a few minutes in the wind and returned home disappointed. You may know how it is when it’s a Sunday and for what ever reason you don’t go to House and then the rest of the day seems weird. Not to mention that unsettled feeling is compounded when you’re in a weird place, with no car, and now you’re stuck in the hotel room all day because it’s way too cold to go outside.

Kayla made some jambalaya for lunch which really lifted our spirits, but by evening we were still ready to break free and get out of here. We borrowed a car and hit the road. Our first idea was the mall, which turned out to be closed. So, we stopped at a gas station to see where something fun for Bright might be. Craziest thing was, the lady behind the counter was crazy (or possessed) and literally cussed Kayla out and gave her not one, but both fingers on the way out!!! We had to just laugh because it was so absurd…

Though neither of us said it, the whole day had just left us wanting to come home. After driving for a while we found a Burger King with a big kid’s area inside. There was one woman, about 65 or so, with two young boys. As Bright played with them she introduced herself to us. She had taken the boys from their adult text study so a single mom could get some quality time – and maybe more so Kayla and I could receive some much needed encouragement from Dad.

Her name was Karen, and for the next thirty minutes her presence was like a big hug for us. She genuinely loved Dad, was full of the HS, and encouraged us as she would have her own children. Only Dad can connect people like that, if you’ve experienced it then you know exactly what I’m talking about. You feel like family even though you’ve known each other for all of 35 minutes.

At the end of our time she chatted with us and I had to stop because I would have started weeping (which isn’t too uncommon for me, but can weird some people out when I first meet them – Lee Harper…) Just when I was starting to think, “Why are we doing this?”… Just when I was starting to lose my joy and gratitude because the day had not been convenient to me… Just when I was starting to feel sorry for myself and get all in a bad mood… Dad showed up at Burger King and refreshed my heart. I needed it. I can’t wait to spend eternity with people like Karen.