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?