Chocolate or Maple bars? They sit in the glass case as if they were diamonds at Jared or the Shane Co. This time it was Safeway! Selected the biggest Maple one I could scope out. Airport bound, one hand on the steering wheel and another on this soon to be demolished heavenly experience. Yet something unexpected happened… Something I hadn’t experienced before…

I took one of those bites when more comes off than intended. After that first mouthful, I started chewing and wow did it taste good but something didn’t taste normal. Like a texture issue? You know those banana people that can’t handle the texture well this donut was a little off. I looked down at my quarter eaten maple bar and it was hollow! I was like “come on man!” Has anyone ever experienced this before? A hollow donut without dough in the middle. I instantly thought to myself… I could go one of two ways with this… I could be negative nancy and feel empty inside (pun intended) about losing out on that soft gooey dough that makes donuts so delicious OR I could be grateful for this donut. Have an attitude of gratitude that I get to eat this wonderful half full maple donut. I was grateful!

This evening I arrived in Seattle. I’m speaking this week at Snohomish High School for Breaking Down the Walls up here. I stopped by Whole Foods for a decent meal. Went to the Ready-To-Go buffet bar and served myself some hot Mac & Cheese with Turkey & Veggies. Paid, sar, and began to grub. Before long, this daddy and daughter came and sat down in the table next to me. But there was nothing normal about these two. The daughter was about five years old and she carried the tray that had both her and her dads food on it. She also had their napkins strategically tucked under her little arm pit. By now you’re thinking, what’s with the dad? Well the dad was about 6’2 and 200 pounds. He looked like an athlete and had muscles popping through his tight sweatshirt. However he was walking with support poles. Like ski poles, the ones that clamp around your wrist with handles and poles attached to them. They help assist people who have trouble walking on their own. The kicker… He had a military hat on that said, “Wounded Warrior Project.” An assumption, yes. But looking at this All-American stud with military signs I have a hunch. Ironically, this story isn’t about the dad.

The daughter set their tray down gently without dropping the napkins on the floor that were wadded up under her arm. The father struggling to walk was about to sit down with his daughter but he realized they didn’t have plastic forks and knives for their meal. Struggling, he gingerly got up and started to embark on the long walk across the eating area. Before he got 3 steps, the daughter said go sit down daddy I’ll go get them. The dad’s face said it all. His eyes drooped, shoulders shrugged… The fight was in him but this wasn’t a battle he needed. The daughter came back quickly. They sat side by side. As she sat down next to him, he put his arm around her. Hugged her and kissed her little forehead. She said, “I love you daddy.”

Starting our days with an attitude of gratitude each day can help us be intentional with our thoughts and actions. I was grateful my doughnut was missing it’s dough in the center. I was also grateful for my health and ability to travel today. I watched that little girl care for her wounded daddy and I couldn’t help but think of Alex and my mom.

Alex Levesque and I recently started the Alex & Freddie Show. You wouldn’t know it by talking with Alex but he has a disability that limits his mobility. He lives his life in a wheelchair.

My mom has been bed-ridden in chronic pain for over 18 years. Each week she deals with new and hard challenges. This week she has to give herself shots twice a day to prep her blood to not cause clots prior to a colonoscopy she is having on Thursday.

The father, Alex, and my mom all possess the will to live because life is a precious gift. People like these three people inspire us to be better. And the daughter inspires us that we are all good people to our core. Thank you little daughter. May you have the strength of your father to care for him. Love is strong. Love.

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