“I always told my son when he dreams to dream with big wings.”
Sitting in the rear passenger seat of a silver Uber, the driver is telling me about her life. She’s friendly, she’s passionate, she’s only lived in America for a half-dozen years. In her accent, gently rolling with a hypnotizing melodic rhythm, she tells me is from Canada.
“My son has tried lots of things,” she said as we pick our way though the traffic. “But he always gives it his best.”
The last part of the sentence bubbles with the pride only a parent can project.
She’s been in the US for a short time, moving to California only after her 49-year old son finally convinced her to pull up stakes and join him in San Diego.
“At some point you also get tired of shoveling snow,” she said as we merged on to the parkway.
She’s young but she’s not – at least in terms of someone who is only measured by the dates registered on a driver’s license.
“My other son, he’s retired from the Army,” she said. “Lives down here.”
Mothers are remarkable. No one can project more pride than that of someone who literally brought you into the world.
She mentions a movie her son helped on after retiring from the military. The story is of Navy Seals going in to rescue a kidnaped American.
“He helped get the actors trained for their parts,” she said. “After watching the movie I got a better idea of what he did.”
She mentions watching the movie with her son and now being scared to death about what he did while serving in the military. She’s glad she didn’t know at the time.
Our silver SUV weaves back and forth as she darts between other cars. Her son’s confidence apparently comes naturally.
Both her sons carry her DNA and her drive to shape the world around them. As a mother, she has done her job well.
We pull into the circle drive of the hotel. A bellman walks out as she brings the car to a stop. She quickly hops out and heads to the back of the SUV. I offer to help.
“I work out at the gym,” she says. “This part is like getting in an extra workout.”
Grabbing the heavy suitcases, she effortlessly places them on the ground. The SUV quickly empties and she turns to say goodbye.
“Well, I hope you enjoy your visit.”
We shake hands. Her eyes are bright, her smile broad.
And like that, a force of nature, one beaming with maternal pride, boundless energy, and optimism, she slides back behind the wheel of the car.
As she pulls away I can’t help but feel as if God wanted me to meet this person. Life is an odd trail and if we pay attention, God puts the most interesting people in our pathway. I’m glad I met this woman who lights up the life of everyone she meets.