I saw him emerge from behind a green hill. He ran his hand through his hair, and then dug his hand into his jacket pocket.
I recognized him instantly.
Adrift in a sea of mini-vans, he paced. Our eyes locked. I was there for preschool pick-up, a thrice weekly ritual of hugs and tempura paint masterpieces.
Perhaps he once created mysteries on paper as well. Perhaps he sang quietly to himself, and his mother pinned his work to the wall. But many years and many hidden bottles later, he was simply looking for a meeting.
I clasped my younger son's hand, and walked across the parking lot. "Excuse me, sir? May I help you?"
I stepped closer, and he cleared his throat, " I'm looking for the friends of Bill?" He squinted in the spring sunshine. The sun lit the tips of his hair from behind.
I nodded. "Sure," I smiled, and pointed him to another building, "They've changed location."
"Thank you, sister," he said. "I appreciate it."
And before I could say another word, he was gone.
But if I could say more, I would tell him that he was brave.
I would tell him that my grandfather came to my mother's rehearsal dinner drunk. Then, a few years later, died in a bar. He never was able to stand in a parking lot, powerless and seeking. I never knew him.
I would have told that man there is nothing more beautiful than a redemption song, and I could hear the first notes, right in that parking lot.
I said nothing. Instead, I sent him in the right direction.. By far, the greatest thing I did that day.
For the Red Dress Club memoir prompt, we were asked to describe a time when we felt proud of ourselves. Concrit is welcome.