Happy Thanksgiving 2018

   I hope everyone had a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. This holiday helps us acknowledge all the things we are thankful for. This week’s story is about a limo event I had on Tuesday that reminded me of all the things I am grateful for.

   I received a phone call from Burke asking if I was available to drive on Tuesday. I told him yes, and then he told me it was a Make a Wish event for a young boy. I told him I would love to drive, and I would donate my time. He thanked me and told me he would get back to me with more information.

   I found out I was to pick the family up on Tuesday at IHOP. As they came out, one of the ladies with the group was Julie Thomas from the Make a Wish organization. I had met with her earlier to see if the Foundation could partner with them. “It so good to see you again” she said as she gave me a big hug. “It’s great to see you too! I’m so happy I get to be the driver for this event,” I told her. I introduced myself to the family and met the young boy. His name was Kayden, and he had a liver transplant six months ago. I told them I was honored to be his driver, and told them Kayden was so special, they sent the best limo driver for him.

   The plan was to take him to different stores, so he could go shopping. Julie warned me there was a family conflict going on. “We’re going to take Kayden with his dad and stepmom shopping, and then we’ll come back to drop them off and pick up his mom. I need to warn you, the mom has been very difficult through this whole thing,” Julie told me. I got everyone into the limo and we headed out to go shopping. Our first stop was Walmart.

   As we were heading to Walmart, Kayden asked me what my name was. “My name is Shane, and I’m so glad I get to be your driver today Kayden,” I said. “Thanks for driving us around today Shane.” Kayden said. I could hear Kayden talking to his two younger brothers. “You guys can play with some of the toys I buy,” I heard him say. What a great older brother I thought. Now, maybe it was just me, but pulling up to Walmart in a limo seemed a little ironic. It was funny to see the looks on peoples faces.

   After they finished with Walmart, we headed toward Shopko. I knew what I wanted to do when we got there. As Kayden got out of the limo, I said, “I want to contribute to your shopping spree,” and handed him a twenty-dollar bill. The look of astonishment on Kayden’s face was priceless. You would have thought I had given him a thousand dollar bill. “Thank you so much Shane,” he said with excitement. “This is one of the reasons I’m the world’s best limo driver,” I said jokingly. As the group headed into Shopko, the dad came up and thanked me. I told him I just wanted to help a little. “The sad thing is, this wasn’t his wish. His wish was to go to Disneyworld, but his mom wouldn’t allow it. She won’t go but doesn’t want him to go with me and my wife,” he told me. That was unbelievable to me.

   They finished at Shopko, and we headed back to pick up Kayden’s Mom. Kayden was going through some of the items he had bought. It was really cute to hear the exhilaration in his voice. “It sounds like you got some pretty cool stuff there Kayden,” Then one of the best parts of the whole day happened. I heard Kayden say to his dad, “I like Shane, he’s cool.”

   We dropped off the dad and stepmom and picked up Kayden’s mom and grandma. I must admit, I was a little nervous. They got into the limo, and you could feel the tension and uneasiness with everyone. We headed toward the mall and all the way the mom was being very rude. All she could do was criticize the toys he had bought. They finished shopping, and we headed back to drop her off. I let them out of the limo and then the mom got into an argument with Julie. She wanted to know much of the presents Kayden bought she could take and leave at her house. So badly I wanted to say, Why? You think all of it is foolish any way. I got back into the limo, while they finished deciding what they were going to do. All the time, Kayden was trying to calm his mom down. What a mature young man for ten-years old, I thought.

   The mom finally left, and we drove to Chick Fil A for lunch. “You’re welcome to join us for lunch,” Julie said. “Thanks, but I’m okay,” I replied. “Are you sure?” she replied. I thought for a minute, and then I said, “You know what, normally I wouldn’t do this, but it would be an honor to eat with someone as awesome as my buddy Kayden.” Kayden had bought the Guinness Book of World’s records, and all through lunch showed me some of the records he found incredible.

   It ended up being a really good day, in spite of the difficult time with his mom. Kayden is an exceptional kid, with a terrific outlook on life. I wanted to write this as a Thanksgiving story because it reminded me that even though there are a few difficult times I will go through, life is about being thankful for all the wonderful people I have in my life. I reminded me that the difficult times make me appreciate the good times that much more. I am thankful for everyone that continues to read these stories. I am grateful for my wonderful family and the love and support they give me. I am thankful for my Angel Shannon and the strength she gives me every day. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

Next week: The SWF Night Out Plan

P.S. The limo at Walmart was like the time I took a young boy and his friends to McDonalds to celebrate his eighth birthday in a limo. I love making people shake their heads at anything I do.