The promised story…
When Cole was a baby, Brian and I took him on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Brian had purchased a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500 (a purchase that bothered me from the onset), and that is the vehicle we used to take us on our adventure. Brian had the good idea of traveling along old Route 66 for as much of the drive as possible. And after I mapped it out with triple A (AAA), I knew our road trip was going to be a load of fun. Along the way I had planned for us to visit the Grand Canyon Caverns, Lake Havasu and the London bridge, and a few old towns in-between. The more I researched our route, the more excited about our trip I became.
The day finally came for our long anticipated vacation, and being that the Galaxy could only accommodate Cole’s car seat in the front seat, I sat in the back. At the time that didn’t bother me so much, however writing it down now makes me quite ticked off…ok, just kidding! Anyway, cutting right to the ‘heart o my story’…
We arrived at the Grand Canyon and though it was majestic and sunny and perfect, the Galaxy was not. I can’t quite remember what went awry between Brian and his beloved muscle car, but something most definitely did. Brian became irritated by something malfunctioning in the car and felt it required immediate attention. Now you need to understand that I have married a most passionate man (if you didn’t know that already). For the most part, I love his passion; it is constant and never ceasing, and in my opinion, beautiful. However, in that moment, at the Grand Canyon–our anticipated destination–his passion for that Ford 500 was a violation to my soul. A trespassing upon my idea for our family vacation. Yet Brian decided we needed to leave the “world wonder” immediately, so we could get to our hotel with plenty of sunlight to spare. In truth, he took on a sour attitude and had I pitched a fit to stay (my passion is no match for his, or wasn’t at the time), it would not have changed his mind. So back in the car we went and out of the National Park his Galaxy took us.
Sitting in the back of the car I distinctly remember looking out the back window, teary eyed, reading and re-reading the sign, “Welcome to the Grand Canyon.” In that moment I was excruciatingly hurt. I was disappointed and miserable. Then, as the sign became illegible, I was mad. Mad at Brian, my “beloved” (thought with sarcasm). And that is when the Lord spoke to my heart, mind, and soul. He offered me a choice…
I could remain miserable, angry, and sad. I could hold this transgression against Brian, justifiably. I could continue to hurt and even make Brian pay by treating him poorly the rest of the trip and making sure he knew he “blew it”.
I could choose to forgive him. I could choose to take on a good attitude even when I deserved the bad. I could focus on our moments together (in that awful car), and make sure that our vacation was not a waste. I could, in essence, put my relationship before my disappointment in that one moment. I could choose to be happy.
Well it took me a little while of sitting silent in the back seat, but I did (key phrase here) “put the concept into action”. I applied the second of the two choices. It really did (and does) make a difference. Though the Canyon was not mine that year, we did go back when Esther was 4 and Cole was almost 9. Another road trip, different car–a rental I believe (I can choose to have a good attitude but that doesn’t make me stupid!). And the rest of my time with Brian and Cole on that first trip was spent learning how to really enjoy life, even when it is somewhat disappointing.
It is not a new life lesson, it was just my first induction into it as an adult.
“The only thing you can control in this life is your attitude”; though even that can benefit from a jump start from time to time!