I was feeling badly about not making it to Mass for Gianna’s particular feast day, but I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A, instead. Tuesday nights, at least around here, they have free kids’ meals offers, which we’ve never really been able to take advantage of because of “the wheat thing” (until recently, we were convinced that we all, Gianna in particular, had celiac disease; we’ve recently learned it’s just a wheat allergy–similar symptoms, though, and I’m trying to see if we can integrate some wheat into our diet by taking allergy meds every night).
Anyway, we went to Chick-Fil-A, and we went inside! Just me and the kids, as Mary had a meeting. To fit the van in the parking lot, we had to park on the “drive through” side, then walk around the outside to get to a handicapped ramp.
So, we had a great time. When we left, I very cautiously and authoritatively led my little parade across the parking lot, passing in front of an SUV that was sitting at the window. We were following the usual procedure: the kids all load on the lift. I raise it up. They enter in and get in their seats. I lower the lift and put my wheelchair into the car.
While the kids were going up the lift, the lady in the SUV drove up to pull into the spot next to us.
“Sir, you’re my hero!” She yelled out.
I said, “Pardon?”
She idled the car by me and said, “I just wanted to tell you you’re my hero. First, I saw all those little kids getting ready to cross the street. Then I saw you in your wheelchair. Then I saw how well you managed the kids. And then I saw the ‘I love the Pope’ bumper sticker!”
She had out of state plates, and they looked like they were traveling, or I’d have continued the conversation a bit more. But it was a nice mutually inspirational moment that wouldn’t have happened had I made it to daily Mass. . . . .