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« The Catchall | Main | Duke »

The Taco Bell Guy, The Mountain Goat, and A Birthday

Duke is adjusting as well as possible to living with diabetes. He's not complained once, although occasionally I see sadness and heaviness on his face. I can give him that. People have expressed their sympathy and encouraged Duke and our family. We're thankful for every kind word and thought. Little things like reassuring smiles, and eyes that convey just the right amount of sympathy have not gone unnoticed.

Last week I hung out near the boys' school so I could help Duke with his diabetes management; I intend to continue this routine for a while. He's not quite ready to fly solo. After helping Duke with his lunch, I drove to Taco Bell and ate a Bean Burrito almost every day. With a cup of water, my meal totaled $1.28. The cost alone gave me tremendous satisfaction, plus I love Taco Bell Bean Burritos.

After seeing me in the drive-through on the third day, the young Taco Bell guy offered to give me a larger cup of water. "Would you like more water today?" he asked. I told him that would be wonderful, that the burrito always leaves me feeling thirsty. He gave me a regular fountain drink cup--not the small, flimsy plastic cup typically provided for water freeloaders.

I revisited and soaked in that simple act of kindness and thoughtfulness. It was a bizarre moment to find such an effective and comforting antidote for the week's chaos and stress. But I took it.

Then there was the mountain goat.

I haven't exercised in a few weeks, so I forced myself to grab some fresh air and a hike Saturday morning. At one point on the trail I looked up, and no more than 15 feet above me stood a large mountain goat. Perched on...nothing. I couldn't imagine how she navigated the sheer cliffs, but there she calmly stood, appearing almost fake as she looked at me and I at her. She was placid and remained standing on nothing for longer than I cared to watch. I continued my hike, but like the Taco Bell guy, the mountain goat gave me a gift.

That goat seemed to simply "be". She epitomized it.

The Taco Bell guy = be kind. The mountain goat = be. Two spaces I aim to occupy with joy and peace, illustrated beautifully.


And to cap off this week, September 9th is Redmond's 7th birthday! I have permission from the on-screen talent to share the following video clip. Parke and Duke meet their brother, Redmond, for the first time on September 9, 2005.

Reader Comments (9)

When we're more than sad but feeling wounded, small acts of kindness and beauty stand out in exquisite detail. Gifts, yes.

Your Taco Bell story reminded me of a time when my mother is in ICU at a distant hospital. Visiting hours were limited, and every day my car would pull into the parking garage at the same time and leave at the same time. The parking attendant must have known where I was going and why. He looked me in the eye one day and handed me a piece of candy, told me to have a good day. Such a small thing. Such a huge thing. I nearly wept in gratitude just to be SEEN, just to have my invisible burden acknowledged. That was more than 20 years ago and I still remember.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterV-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

Your comments are posts in themselves, V. You understand perfectly. Small thing = big thing.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrisy

Cute video, Chris! The boys have grown up so much since then! Hope Redmond had a great birthday. Here in Macau there is no Taco Bell so I have been deprived of bean burritos for quite some time...I soooo miss them. All the best to Duke, when it comes to managing diabetes, he's got two of the best "coaches" possible in you and Parke. Hugs and hello to everyone!

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Petridis

Best post, video, and comment (v-grrrl) all in one. A blog trifecta today.

Thanks for touching my heart and soul. You always do!

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheri @ Blog This Mom!

That video is so sweet. How tiny those boys look! All of your sons are so special. And no matter what challenges and hardships they face - they'll always have each other.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Coveny Hood

Sweetie boys!

Glad to know we are kindred spirits regarding TB bean burritos!

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranna see

OMG that video made me cry! So sweet and tender and adorable and I MISS YOU!

Love that Taco Bell guy. And OF COURSE I'm also a bean burrito gal. Kindred spirits, yep.


September 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchristy

Beautiful insight. Keep climbing!

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I just started to follow your blog after reading your book (thank you) I had to add my own story of a kindness that is still dear to me so many years later. I was a 20 year old new mother, in a new city, 1000 miles from home. One day when I was feeling so overwhelmed and fragile, thinking I would never be able to measure up and be the kind of mother that my 9 lb. bundle of joy was demanding every few hours, a woman from around the corner knocked on my door with a plate of cookies and these simple words-"Your baby loves you" I love her to this day, and I think of her each time I deliver a plate of cookies.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne

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