We spent a few minutes in my car listening to her music. It was cold for Los Angeles and the palm trees lining Ventura Blvd looked a little under dressed for the weather. Low hanging sunlight kept trying to peek under my window visor as we drove.
Just Olivia and I.
She was in a red cardigan sweater, sitting in the backseat, head tilted, mouthing the song words, she caught me looking at her in the rear view, she did her soon-to-be-famous self conscious smirk at me. I continued to look anyways.
We parked and walked past the glass doors of the church as an elderly man in white pants and a hat was helping his wife out of the car, she took his shaky hand and looked up at him almost like he was asking her to dance.
I think in a beautiful way, he was.
They walked arm in arm to mass, their feet shuffling in tandem as the orange leaves on the sidewalk moved aside to let them pass.
As we walked by the main parking lot Livy asked me what the word “certainty” meant. I did the best I could to define it, but ironically, I didn’t feel I had done so with any… certainty.
There was a white minivan with a built in ramp lowering down a male student in a motorized wheelchair. He looked to be in maybe third or fourth grade. He had on a very warm looking scarf around his neck and dark black hair. His mom was telling him to hurry up, they didn’t want to be late, he looked annoyed but he complied.
As she walked next to him in his chair, she looked at down and gently touched his hair, one of those gestures that belies the ferocious miracle that courage and love create everyday, and confirms that mere handicaps have no chance against against such a force.
Olivia and I finally got to her class, I got a quick kiss, a “loveyou” (one word) and she got her backpack and then she bounded away; ponytail, red sweater and all.
Walking back, I remembered my Mom, and her joyful laugh. I thought about the amazing capacity of people to be kind, devoted, loving and strong.
And how we can miss seeing that sometimes in the din of everything else.
Mostly, I was just overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this life and how grateful that I was to be in this moment.