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What Would Your Bumper Sticker Say?

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The white SUV in front of me pulled into the rec center where I was driving Connor to camp, and we both pulled into adjacent parking spaces.

I sat for a moment, watching the woman get our of her car and walk inside the building…short, white-haired, a little thick in the middle.  I watched and thought of all the things I already knew about this stranger, because of the bumper sticker on her car.

Without even knowing her name, I knew she was strong, perhaps stronger than many women.  She either had a wonderful support system, a deep, abiding faith, or maybe both in equal measure.  She is fearless and determined, despite a nagging ache in her heart.  On she goes, one foot in front of the other, and for the life of me, I didn’t think I’d be able to do the same if I were her.

The bumper sticker said, “I’m MADD because my daughter was killed by a drunk driver.”

I don’t know if it was 6 months or 6 years ago.  But I know that she had a daughter she loved very much, who was taken from her too soon.

Everyone has a story.

That bumper sticker made me realize that everyone is dealing with something.    We plod along on our respective treadmills, often not realizing the burdens that others carry.

If everyone had a bumper sticker to tell their story, what would it look like?

My mother is dying of cancer.

My son is a drug addict and has been missing for a month.

I just lost my job and I have three children.

My wife is fighting cancer.  Again.


Those are stories from just a few people I know.

How differently would we all behave if each person’s sorrows and pain was emblazoned on a bumper sticker?  Would we be more patient?  Would we try to be kinder to others?  Would we take the time to reach out more?

Would we learn how to be happy, just being healthy and whole?

What would your bumper sticker say?

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

John Lennon


There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

“My Hero”

About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

21 responses »

  1. Mine would read:
    I have a family with people both here and beyond. Some that get it and some that have moved on. I have love, I have lost, I have moved on. Now you pull out in front of me and cut me off? I’ll gut you like a fish.

    Or something like that…..

    • Karla (Mom2MissK)

      Dammit, Lizbeth! I was all feeling the vibe from this post and gettin’ a little weepy and then you make me laugh wine out my nose. Dammit!

  2. Mine would say:
    This was so not in “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”

  3. Thank you. This one really touched me today. It is so true. I wish people could be kinder to others, in general, without having to have them feel bad for them because of what they are dealing with. Plus, everyone deals with things differently. What seems very difficult to us, may be not so difficult to someone else. But everyone has their issues and troubles, and battles to face.

    I have often thought that if I lost one of my children, I would be devastated. Count me out. How could I must the energy or strength to leave my bed without shedding tears on a daily basis.

    I’m not sure what my bumper sticker would say. Maybe…

    I’m just your average (sentimental, cranky, emotional, bitchy, worrisome, hopeful, kind) mom struggling to take care of her family and enjoy life without losing her sanity.

    HA! I dunno. How about you? What would yours say?

  4. I love this post. And I love Lizebth’s bumper sticker.

  5. Quit making me tear up, asshole. But really this is a nice post with a sweet message and yes I for one would be nicer or more evil to people if I knew each person’s individual situation, no doubt. I mean if there was a bumper sticker that said something to the effect of “Daddy’s trust fund put me through college and now I’m a CEO who works 8AM – 3PM Monday through Thursday – LIFE ROCKS!!!!” my car might ‘accidentally’ ram into their car many times over. MANY times over. Just sayin’………….


  6. This is really a thoughtful and philosophical post. It would be a much kinder world if we all remembered that everyone has something they are going through.

    With that said, I love Lizbeth’s bumper sticker. Mine would just say, “S*#% happens”… if Toots wouldn’t take it to school, which he would and then, the entire school would see it when I drove him, so… never mind.

  7. Karla (Mom2MissK)

    I once saw one that simply said “problem child.” It says so much in two little words – both for me and Little Miss. Maybe we are the “problem children,” but you know what? Life’s a hell of a lot more fun that way!

  8. This post is fantastic! Wow. So beautiful and really thought provoking. I love it.

    And I love Lizbeth’s bumper sticker too.

    One of my favorite bumper stickers says something like:
    My son will lick your honor student.

    Or something like that.

  9. Great post. My car’s license plate frame says:
    “I’m raising a kid with Autism. What’s YOUR superpower?”

  10. Great post very thought provoking. My bumper sticker might say “I was emotionally abused for 20yrs, Endured bullying for 8yrs, and now I struggle with Depression. What’s your Problem?!”

  11. My fave bumper sticker says “Mean People Suck”. Oh I also like “Karma’s a B****”. I would want my bumper sticker to say “If you were Jesus, what would you do?”

  12. I’m
    Bipolar, Do you think I need help hating myself I do that just fine on my own. Have a good day..

  13. “Just because you can’t see my disability doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

  14. “If we can remember to show all children of the world deep respect and unconditional love, then our lives will not have been wasted, no matter what happens to us.”

  15. Mine would say, “Stop Staring”. It’s been one of those weeks.

  16. Beautiful post! I think people in real life, and on the internet, could definitely stand to be more “human” to each other. That being said, I hadn’t really thought too much about what my bumper sticker would say. Probably something like “Crazed helicopter mom coming through” or “My kid isn’t waving, he is just stimming, but feel free to wave back.” Yeah. There are two reasons why I’m not in the bumper sticker making business. 🙂

  17. Hello, I have come over from Try Defying Gravity! I enjoyed reading your blog, although was saddened by the bumper sticker stories. I think my sticker would say….. “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping”! or “I live for a daily cappuccino”. Truly, I am not frivolous, although I try not to take life too seriously!

  18. another great post =)
    i am SO over the ‘my family’ stickers, and although i kind of understand those that put ‘angel children’ on the back of their car.. i just don’t know if we should put it all out there at once, and if certain things are not best kept private.. but i know, this kinda goes against everything that happens on the internetz.. my bumper sticker ? It would probably say :
    “I have secrets.”

  19. Pingback: Live Your Bumper Sticker - Rules for Everyday

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