I dropped my daughter off at camp today, which is located about 35 miles north of where I live. Since I work about 35 miles south of where I live, camp day always means a lot of driving. Every year I feel rushed and guilty for arriving late on the job, so by the time I reach the car after I’ve made up my daughter’s bunk and said my good-byes, I have one thing on my mind: getting to work as fast as I can.
Today also happens to be my grandmother’s ninety-eighth birthday. That’s right, she’s 98. She also lives about 15 miles from the camp, in a little town that lies squarely in my trajectory to work. Even so, I was prepared to let passing through the town serve as a reminder to call her to express my love and birthday greetings.
As I reached the town’s edge, I found myself thinking of a friend who very recently lost his mother. Late or not, I couldn’t squander an opportunity to tell my grandmother I love her. Instead of continuing doggedly down the highway, I turned my car into the parking lot of a floral shop and bought my grandma a bouquet of summer flowers. Then I headed to her apartment and gave her a hug.
I’m glad I took the time.
Happy birthday, grandma.