Yesterday, I had one of the craziest mornings of my life; and I'm not talking like "wake up on the wrong side of the bed crazy." But it sure is funny how things have a way of working out. I had an interview with a young lady in McClure at 11 a.m. on Old Stage Road and I was fully prepared, camera ready, pen in one hand and printed directions in the other.
I want to make one thing clear - I am not good at finding certain places when I am traveling, driving on the road, sitting in the driver's seat - you get the picture. Well it seems the directions I printed out weren't exactly correct, and Pennsylvania is doing it's summertime duty - wonderful road construction.
Might I point out the cellular reception is not that great out there. My Mom couldn't "hear me now" when I tried to call for help. I had to pull over and ask for directions at an auto body shop and eventually made my way there. Or so I thought. I pulled into their neighbor's house and shouted, "I finally made it!" - only to receive an odd welcome.
"Who are you looking for?" the man in the driveway asked.
I immediately knew I had the wrong house and as if God himself were trying to point me in the right direction, my cell phone rang with the young lady's mother on the other end of the line.
"I think I'm in your neighbor's driveway," I said.
She laughed, thank goodness, and told me that they were in the house right next door.
All of this, and I finally made it. Talk about embarrassing and frustrating. But, the best part of the story is yet to come. I interviewed a young lady, a 15-year-old girl diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, and her demeanor was unlike any other.
Here I am thinking I had one the worst days of my life (exaggerating of course) and then I get a chance to interview her. Kind, soft-spoken and full of smiles, this young lady was just the opposite of what one would expect. She was bubbly and just plain happy to be alive; and frankly that's how everyone should be. It just takes little moments like these for some people to realize it or even put a smile on one's face.
After my interview concluded, I thanked her and her family for their time and made my way through the maze of roads and detours back to Lewistown. I guess God was still going to give me a little lesson for the day, because as I was waiting in traffic I noticed a billboard off to the right of the roadway.
On the billboard was Randy Pausch, the professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and succumbed to it in 2008. He became famous for giving what he called his "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," which became an instant YouTube success.
The billboard read, "He wrote a book on living while he was dying - motivation." And then it dawned on me: Motivation is key in this situation. You only have one life to live and achieve all of your dreams in such a short amount of time. Some people will live their lives unhappy and blue and others will find ways to bring joy into others' lives. That's just how the world works.
I'm thankful that I was able to interview such an inspirational young lady yesterday, as it "motivated me" to write this column.
Tara Maguire, a Sentinel reporter, welcomes advice and parenting stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.