Happy Monday evening to all of you from somewhere on the Kansas-Missouri border this twelfth day of December. I’m currently looking for my Jayhawk state gig here in Kansas City, Lawrence or Topeka, wherever it might fall will be alright with me. It seems a little warmer down here and the job posting are much more plentiful than my last three stops, so hopefully the stop will be fruitful before I head north again to Nebraska.
My last five days in Des Moines with the Day family was amazing, relaxing and memorable for the gigs guys. I covered a little about them on the gigs post but the real tale of these wonderful people must be shared some more for you to appreciate my time there and their story. I was really flying low coming off my last states experience. I’ve been on my so called survival tour for almost eight months now and for the most part it has been a great ride for me with every place I’ve seen, worked and experienced along my adventure. All the good folks I’ve met and all the great people who have helped my get through 38 states thus far have made my journey one I will never forget. But really aside from a few skipped meals and a few cold nights in my truck I haven’t suffered much in comparison to the real tragic and heart wrenching survival journeys many people endure on an everyday basis in this world. I volunteered for my adventure and I can quit at any time I feel like but unfortunately for many more others like Beth and her family, they face the challenges of a journey they didn’t ask for nor have the option of bowing out when things get rough.
Beth is originally from Chicago and lived, met and married Kevin, an Iowa native, in Arizona. They found themselves back in the Quad-city area where they adopted their son Hayden. After finally settling in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale a few years later everything seemed fine until cancer reared its ugly head for Beth. She went through the normal stages of denial and depression as you would expect. Her bout altered their lives as it does in so many cases and now her survival journey was a real one, the fight of her life! Ever the optimist and fueled by her desire to live despite the prognosis Beth fought the beast like a champion with Kevin by her side every step of the way. This sunny, funny and wonderful lady leads her life with such hope and joy one would never guess what trails she and her family have endured, I was in awe of her cheerfulness and spirit. She is winning that battle right now and plans to be around for a long time to come.
Kevin helps her with her diet, house hold duties and most importantly as her emotional and loving co-pilot on their journey to wherever and whatever destination remains. As parents they are fully invested in Hayden’s present and future well-being, homework, jazz music, social activities just to name a few. They are also entering the truly tough teenage years for the first time and are a bit nervous about that phase of child rearing. I tried to put their mind at ease and gave them my two cents worth, having raised a trio of teens myself!
Yes it was great to get to know these beautiful people who so warmly opened their home and hearts to me so freely, and what did I do in return? Why cook of course! The only way my limited budget allows me to express my love and appreciation for people I meet, a gift my mother bestowed on me many years ago. Homemade beans and tortillas, flautas, chimichangas, guacamole, and chilaquiles for breakfast were my contribution to offset my stay. We ate, laughed shared stories for days, what a life!
So as for me, the lesson I learned as I came into their home flying low and feeling a bit sorry for myself was that no matter what I still have to endure in my silly little tour for the next 12 states still remaining it will never compare to the truly survival journeys people like the Days’ and many more like them earth wide fight everyday of their lives. And that my friends are really the journeys of a life time.
Take care and have a good night! #Yo-Ga-Fla