So I began the morning in the rain at 6am. I was not driving for Lyft but rather playing in a charity golf tournament up in Broomfield. It was a “best ball scramble” tournament which is the only kind of golf match that I would dare show my face in. For those of you not familiar with this format it goes like this: Everyone of the foursome hits their tee shot and then the team plays the best ball from there. What this allows is for a guy like me to contribute to competitive golf. Today I actually hit a few great shots, some good ones and my usual ‘stinkers’. I had a great time and by the time we finished we had gone from ‘Portland-style rain’ to glorious Colorado Spring sunshine. I pulled out of this beautiful golf complex and turned on my Lyft app to do a little Lyft fishing.
“Ping” and I was off to pick up Rob, who lived in a modest older neighborhood, a mile away from 5,000 square foot homes surrounding the area around the golf course. When I checked his destination it showed it was a two-stop ride. He got in the front seat carrying a bunch of ‘gear’. He was a big young man so between the two of us the front of the car was full. He was an affable guy who began the conversation with “I hope you don’t mind but we also need to stop by McDonalds to get my dad some lunch.” I said “I don’t mind at all, it’s your ride”. We headed up Sheridan on a four mile ride. He have me directions as to how take our side trip to the Golden Arches. We got through the drive through and he ordered a #6 with no pickles, with a large soda. He then took a sip from the soda and smiled at me as he said, “I promised my girl that I would quit soda, I am almost there”. “What happens at McDs stays at McDs”.
We went a mile or so longer and then pulled up in front of what I used to call a nursing home. I thought to myself “Maybe his dad works there, he seems too young to have a parent in a care center”. He was in there about 10 minutes, I caught up on Scrabble. Rob came out and thanked me for waiting. I asked, “Does your dad work there”? “No, he has been living there for about a year”. He then, in a beautiful manor, told me a story of a man who served 30 years in the Air Force, including Viet Nam and the Middle East. “He is only 67, he has just had some bad luck. The VA has been very helpful. I would be happy to care for him at home if it were just me. I have two boys who are doing very well in school and they have to be my priority”. Then, out of the blue he said, “My parents adopted me when he was stationed at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines”. We talked back a forth for a couple minutes. I asked “This is a very personal question and feel free to ignore it; ‘Have you ever wondered how your life would be different had you not been adopted by Caucasian parents from the US’ “? He shared a most tender, slightly emotional response of gratitude. “I have a wonderful life, every day I look at my boys and realize the gifts they are. That soldier in the nursing home and my mom made it possible. “I hope he enjoyed his hamburger”. “He loved every bite”.
This ride beat any ‘Hole in One’.
Onward and Upward,