Have A Good Day
Yesterday, I was sitting in a hotel lobby. I was distracted by a loud conversation-taking place just behind the wall where I was sitting. I heard a lot of laughter, and also realized that there must be some sort of conference going on this weekend in Knoxville. I must say I have quite the ability to read others and what they are saying and thinking…AKA eavesdropping.
I got back to messing around on my phone while continuing to wait in the lobby. No sooner had I pulled up another app on my phone, I heard the same voice, but this time right behind me. So, I turn around.
Before I spoke, the man who looked to be in his late 20’s had beaten me to it. He said, “I’m sorry I’m being so loud, I didn’t mean to disrupt you” When I turned around to laugh it off, the laughter was quickly gone from my body.
This man, this young man that was lighting up the whole hotel lobby in every room…left me speechless when I turned around to talk to him. He had prosthetics for both of his legs, from the waist down. The right sleeve of his t-shirt was just hanging off his shoulder, and a half prosthetic filled the sleeve on his left arm.
I took a few seconds… “Thank you for your service” I said, clearly taken back.
He smiled at me, showed me a trick with his arm (spun his prosthetic wrist in a circle) He laughed at himself, and my caught-off-guard reaction to his wit.
Still grinning at me, “Yeah, rough day at the office,” he said as he began to walk away. He stopped, looked back at me, and said one final thing… “Hey, just have a good day tomorrow, okay? I would appreciate it!”
I’m not sure why I was at a loss for words during that whole conversation. Maybe it’s because of my gratitude for his service, or maybe it was because his appreciation for life. Maybe it’s because for the first time, I felt obligated to have a good day…for someone else.
For the first time, without seeing my mom or dad say it first. I thanked someone for his service. I’m not sure why it hasn’t happened more, I’m not sure why so many people can walk by a person in uniform and not take a second to thank them.
This short-lived interaction, gave me a whole new perspective on a good day. He wasn’t just walking away and ending the conversation with a casual, ‘have a good one’. No, he was asking ME for a favor. This man lost his arms and legs, so that WE can have a good day today and everyday. The least we can do is thank these men and women who just want us, to have a good day.
After all, they go to any length to make sure of it…