As I was trolling the isles of Lowe’s today something about this one employee, like always, captured my attention. He is always friendly with a smile of gold on his face with a “hello, how ya doing today?”. Taking the time not to look away too quickly and making sure you knew it was sincere. His warm hello is not that way some day’s it’s that way any day I stroll by the doors and windows at the Riverdale Lowe’s. Today I thought a lot about that personality and how Grant’s character was so much like that. He was never afraid to walk up to a stranger and make them his newest friend or go out of his way to complement someone’s cool shoes or pimpin wheels. There was never a jealous bone in his body. If he liked it he told you and he was happy you had it. He always had a positive attitude. He would give you the shirt of his back… In fact I think he’d give you mine because we were so much alike he would have figured I wouldn’t care. But there were some areas that we were not alike… Grant always had a positive attitude and I sometimes feel negative. He always went out of his way to make someone feel welcomed and I don’t know if that is a quality I have at all time. He said it like it was and I have always held back. Over the months I think about the amazing qualities of Grant‘s that I want to be more like. I have to at least try now that the world is missing a huge empty bucket of complements and kind gestures that left this earth with him. If I am truly going to carry on the memory of Grant I need to make the people around me feel the presence of him whether they are those I know or just a stranger.
The other day I was at a stop light on 35 and Washington; a daily thing for me. There was this gushing wave that ran through me looking to my left at the man next to me holding his sign. “Smile mom! You don’t have to give him money but at least acknowledge him. At least smile.” I know that was a voice from Grant in my head because that is what he would have said. In fact, he would have rolled down his window to the guy and with a big smile said, “Hey! Hope things get better for ya!” A lot of the things that run through my mind about Grant are the things all of us parents wonder about when raising our kids and the frustrations we have day in and day out. They talk back and they may not listen and we as parents continue to be so hard on ourselves. But it’s how our children grow up to treat others… truly treat others that really matters. We don’t always see that for ourselves because children tend to take their biggest frustrations and hurts out on us. Like Grant said to me several times, “when my heart hurts I take it out on you because you’ll still love me the same tomorrow and for that mom I’m so so sorry.” Over the months Steve and I have received over five hundred cards from family, loved ones, friends, teachers and most shockingly strangers… many many strangers that had such kind words to say about the boy we raised. They say how he helped them through a very tough time in their life, how he stopped and was willing to help them on a simple walk around the block, to the many many people who Steve and I never knew that he made friends with along the way. Grant had more friends than I have had in my 48 years and he kept them not by being perfect, but by always apologizing to anyone he felt he may have done wrong towards. He said that he was sorry… That was a word he was not ashamed of or too proud to repeat.
The man at Lowe’s was a reminder to me today that no one’s life is lived without hurt. No one’s life is lived without hurting another’s; but it is the love, forgiveness and most of all asking for forgiveness from those we have hurt that allows us to heal ourselves. Live our time on earth with a smile and share a sincere kind hello to someone whose life just might be feeling deep hurt…
I am so proud of the amazing, kind, and loving son we raised. And even more the quality of how he loved. Grant would have said; “When life is upside down… I guess it makes a frown.”