By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
If there’s one thing my husband and I are learning from aging, it’s patience. We’ve learned to take things as they come and work around inconveniences. To adjust plans. Fretting and freaking out over life’s interruptions serves no purpose except to turn a person into unpleasant company. Our latest such event is a prime example of how things often work out better than we could have imagined.
In a hurry to leave the beach and meet family for lunch a few towns inland, my husband and I were not thrilled to find his big red truck dead. The six-wheeled work truck uses two batteries and both were dead. Thank goodness for AAA and the promise that they’d arrive at the condo’s parking garage within the hour. Lunch would be delayed but not cancelled.
Instead of waiting in the dark, dreary garage listening to our stomachs growl, we returned to the empty tenth floor condo to enjoy the ocean scenery a little longer, running a few minutes past check-out time.
With smartphones in hand, texting those who needed to know about our delay, we noticed out the ocean front window, a crowd walking along the strand. Thinking it was the usual excitement that accompanies a fisherman catching a young shark, we looked more closely. There was no shark.
The group wasn’t heading toward the water’s edge but continuing parallel to the water, a parade traveling along the length of the beach. Two small beach vehicles flanked the group in front and in back, surrounding the people who were led by uniformed firemen bearing American flags. As they moved, people joined in the procession. Other beach goers stood and cheered as they passed.
It’s uncanny how annoying occurrences or disruptions in our schedule can turn into moments worth remembering. Even worth sharing. Once again, patience to adjust to a situation paid off.
We felt honored to watch a 9/11 parade that we never would have known existed, had our truck cranked. On the fifteenth anniversary of a day we will never forget, we witnessed something we will always remember.