Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun, and I say it’s alright.
The morning sun came just a little too soon, with checkout time not far behind. While the few hours of slumber helped, the compounded sleep deprivation of the past week was quickly catching up to us, exacerbated by the maddening growls of hungry stomachs.
As anticipated, we slept straight through the hotel’s breakfast offerings, but it mattered not. All we could think about was the events of the night prior—was it real or was it a dream?
A few quick showers later, we were packed and ready to hit the road. East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity President/CEO Debbie Crouch and I met up with Habitat ReStore Manager Eric Jones in the lobby. He advised us that he had been in touch with the repair shop, and it appeared that the soonest that the truck would be repaired was later in the day—but possibly the following day. It was not the news we had hoped to hear, but it was what it was.
And so we began the journey back to Franklin, so that when the repairs had been completed, we’d be nearby. The piano remained in the back of the U-Haul truck, which had provided a saving grace, ensuring that we could make it to the KFC Yum Center in Louisville the night prior, just in time for Sir Paul McCartney to sign the piano on which Lori Gomez had painted The Beatles themed artwork.
Of course, we remained acutely aware of value of the invaluable cargo on board, given that the second of two Beatles sigs had been added to that of Ringo Starr’s, secured just a week and a half prior.
A small padlock was the only thing protecting the truck contents, a reality that was top of mind every time the truck was parked.
On the way back to Franklin, we managed to find a Cracker Barrel restaurant and enjoyed our first real sit-down meal since we had left Louisiana two days earlier. It was sometime during this midday ritual that the full reality of the past few days caught up to us. Despite the repeated Habitat truck breakdowns caused by the contaminated diesel, the stress of worrying whether or not we would make it to the venue on time, and the juggling of logistics and reality checks along the way, the mission of our journey had been completed. So within the big picture, the ongoing delays in the truck repairs seemed fairly inconsequential.
Have you ever watched a movie and found yourself trying to make sense of the multiple montages woven throughout the story line, only to have everything come together in a series of quick cut flashbacks at the end?
This was that moment.
Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe,
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box they
Tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe.
We came to realize that there was a reason we had not secured the Paul McCartney autograph in New Orleans, despite our best efforts to do so.
The trip to Louisville, the breakdowns, the stress, the delays, the new friends we had made along the way who had become part of the adventure—all of this—helped create a rich legacy that will accompany the autographed piano to its new home, wherever that may be.
In that moment, we knew that what had been done was so much bigger than what it appeared to be.
This had become a story of believing in big dreams, of persevering despite numerous obstacles, of determination, of friendship and of possibilities.
This was a blessing bestowed upon us, a reality that forever would remain one of the highlights in the many chapters of our lives.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this story had a few more chapters still to be written.
To be continued.