Our sixteen-year-old came home for a minute so we brought all of the kids out to eat. I used my walker, which is always a bit embarrassing, but when we got to the table my husband hid the walker away and after the waiter brought us our waters, I got an idea.
“Everybody, I want to make a bet!”
My husband’s eyes filled with mirth as if to say, “Here we go again.”
“I will bet you $21, that you can’t guess the waiter’s age.”
They were all interested now, everyone except my son. “That might not be very nice.”
“He seems like a good sport,” I said.
“Yeah,” interjected Ruby, “he’s not gonna care. But how will we do this.”
“I figure each of you will pick an age, and I’ll write it down! Then whoever is the closest will win the money.”
“Whoever is the closest without busting,” Mike said.
I nodded in agreement. “Agreed. Whoever is the closest without busting.”
“Sky, what’s your guess?”
So I quietly gathered each guess—and when ANYONE walked by we went silent! (Except at one point when we were laughing so hard that I almost spit out my water!)
The waiter finally showed up and asked what we’d like. Boy, was he surprised! “We kind of have a bet going,” my husband said.
“Yeah,” I followed up, “ we’re teaching our kids how to gamble. Because we’re those parents.”
The waiter burst out laughing, and then Mike asked him for his age.
“Well, I’ll tell you my age, but what do I get out of it?”
“A really good tip!” I piped in.
“Well, okay....” He looked around. “I’m 40.”
Our youngest daughter nearly shot from her seat. “Me! It was me! I guessed 40.”
“Wait,” the waiter said. “What did everyone else guess?”
“The youngest guess was 35,” I said.
“And some were over 40?” The heavily tattooed waiter had a bit of a smirk, like he was teasing us. “Gee thanks, guys.”
We ate our food and had the most wonderful time. When the waiter came back in his last round, he said, “I’m stuck here working all day. I wish I could go home with you guys!”
After he left, Mike laughed. “That’s not the first time we’ve heard that from a waiter.”
“It’s actually not.” I laughed so hard because we always bring a deck of cards or have something silly up our sleeves.
We left an amazing tip, and our kid-hearted little boy even left his allowance—saying he couldn’t wait for the guy to get it “because he’d been so nice to us.”
As I saw each of my kids’ smiling faces, I had to reflect. For a minute I forgot about the pain and the cancer. Despite my hunched back and lack of hair, I was really living—like I always used to before this diagnosis. And it hit me, whether people have a bad diagnosis—or just a bad outlook—we should all choose to make the best of the moments we have...and just live. Finding the good and sharing it with others, that’s what makes life really WORTH living.