This morning as I was riding the bus to an appointment, I noticed a young man get on the bus. Closely behind him was a woman who appeared to be his therapist or aide.
The two of them approached me and the woman directed the young man to sit next to me. At one point he asked her what their stop was. She gave him a clue that the stop started with an “R” and then he said Roosevelt which just happened to be the stop I was also getting off at. I glanced over at her and gave her a smile.
I immediately started tearing up. I was thinking about Griffin and the work his therapists do with him, including working on taking the bus and train. I was thinking of this boy’s parents, imagining all that we had in common. How many nights had they stayed awake wondering if their child would be independent? How many nights had they stayed awake worrying if they would be able to find amazing people to work with their son, people that would treat him with the respect and patience he deserved?
I thought about this young man, trying to navigate the world. What does the world sound and look like to him? I thought about how he was learning to ride a bus, a skill that many people often take for granted.
I thought about this therapist and the work she was doing. As they started to get off the bus she showed him how to pull the wire down to signal to the bus driver that they wanted to get off. She then showed him how to push on the doors so they would open. She was very patient with him.
As we got off the bus I wanted to say something but I was going in a different direction. If I had had the chance I would have shared some of my story with her and I would have thanked her for doing the job she was doing.
This moment reminded me that you never know what someone else is going through. You never know just how much you might have in common with them. I’m grateful to have had this reminder today.