When we left off last week, I’d just finished a gig in Birmingham after discovering that morning that my laptop had been stolen from the trunk of my car while in New Orleans the previous day. Up to that point, I’d had a great month.
The stolen laptop weighed heavily on my mind and continues to do so today. I’m still feeling the ramifications of changing my checking account and credit cards to protect against identity theft.
As frustrating as it was and continues to be, the month did get better. I had several more shows. I put up a Christmas tree, and I enjoyed Christmas in a Railroad Town immensely.
One of the highlights of the month had to be loading up in the borrowed church van from Airview Baptist Church and going to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for “A Christmas Carol.” What made the trip so special was who was loaded into the aforementioned van.
Lucy, my lovely girlfriend, and I had the great honor of taking five distinguished veterans, four from World War II, the other from Vietnam, along with us on this trip. To make things even better, Opelika’s own Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013, joined in on the fun. She was wonderful in every manner and really added to the night.
I picked up everyone at their respective homes ranging from Gold Hill to Marvyn, so it took a while, but it was certainly worth it. We enjoyed hearing their stories. Although some were very serious, others were quite humorous.
The fellas were as smitten by my Lucy as they were Miss America.
I just sat back with my hands on the steering wheel, eyes on the road, taking it all in. It was a perfect night.
A few days later, the oldest of the bunch echoed my sentiments and left the following voicemail for me to treasure.
“Jody, I’m just calling to tell you what a wonderful time I had Friday night, how much I enjoyed it. I just wish I was 50 years younger where I could have all those years to think about that night.”
For a few days there, I wasn’t worried about my laptop, but I eventually had to get a new one, and it’s still giving me fits. I’m about as technologically inclined as a thumbless monkey. In fact, if I was in charge of technology, we’d still be churning butter.
Last week, I quoted one of my old managers from Kroger Drug Store who often said, “You win some, you lose some, and sometimes it doesn’t even pay to get out of bed.” Well, due to flu-like symptoms, there was a five-day period over Christmas where I didn’t get out of bed.
About the time I started feeling better, I was contacted by my friend Kate about an awesome project. We were going to help Josh, a wounded warrior who lost both legs in Afghanistan, get to Pasadena to see his beloved Auburn Tigers play for the National Championship.
I shared the info with my friends on Facebook, and within just a few minutes there was enough money, and then some, to purchase his ticket at face value from Marlene, one of Kate’s friends.
Marlene wound up giving Josh the ticket for free, and we gave all the donations to him to add to the excitement of his trip.
As we now know, the game didn’t turn out as many of us would’ve liked, but it was still an incredible gesture by so many to help make this young man’s dream a reality.
So I wasn’t just blowing smoke when I said it was a December to remember.
It was filled with great events and extreme emotions, both positive and negative. Such is life. One day, you’re living the dream, and the next you’re getting kicked in the gut. We must learn to be resilient. We must learn to bounce back. That’s the difference in winners and losers.
In December, I made a lot of new friends, spent time with heroes, and even hung out with Miss America. I also fell in love. No, not with Miss America. You see, I love Lucy.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.