I was just finishing my first Friday school bus route. The "crazy day" as a lot of veteran drivers call it. Everyone wants to go home and enjoy their weekend.
The kid were pretty animated to say the least. But it was a great sound. Pure joy, laughter, warmed my soul.
It brought back memories. Memories I've never shared before.
It was Dec 13. 2012. A Thursday. My daughter's birthday was a few weeks earlier and she had a coupon for a free ride on a carousel in a local mall with a friend. She wanted to bring her sister.
There we are, ready to go, and this group of kids show up. School group. Atleast 20. They pile in and off we go.
The noise was awesome. Just pure unadulterated joy. A cacophony of squeals and screams. And as I watched the painted ponies rush past I closed my eyes and absorbed it all it. That moment was precious. Sunshine.
The next day the Sandy Hook massacre happened. A place extremely close to home. I knew a few of the victims. Adult and children. I worked as a butcher/meatcutter in a store in Newtown for awhile. I've lived in the area for all of my adult life. I served and interacted with the victims and the Lanza family. My local paper had 3 pages of obituaries of children. 3 pages! It was painful. It was dark. It was rainy and cold.
But the day before was the complete opposite. Joyous, bright and full of sunshine. That was the day I want to remember, the day to relive.
And this past Friday. I did. I drove these awesome balls of energy home. The sun shining in my face. Their voices echoing in the backround. Tears in my eyes, I remember. I remember the sunshine.