As I was leaving the radio station, I sat in my car at the light at Palm and Shaw avenues in Fresno. I watched the rain I love splatter on my windshield in little drops of peace and joy.
As I waited, I glanced to my left and saw four girls in their 20s approaching the crosswalk. They were dressed exactly the same; each of them had on a black coat, a black beanie or hat, and short black boots. I smiled thinking about friends that age dressing alike.
What I noticed most though, was that they walked with their arms looped through each other’s. Holding hands is a sign of closeness but looping your arm through someone else’s arm makes it intimate. Think of a dad walking his daughter down the aisle. There is love in the looping of arms.
I thought about all of the people who have looped in and out of my life. They say people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
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For those who looped in for a reason, I hope I learned and grew as a person.
For those who looped in for a season, they were the hardest to lose. Those were the people I thought would be there for a lifetime, but were taken after only a season.
And then there are those people who have looped in for a lifetime. I am thankful for those who have stuck with me and stood by me.
People loop in and loop out of my life in big and small ways, but everyone who has looped in has touched my life in some way.
I thought about the little Halloween Superman who looped into my life for just a few minutes but changed it forever.
It was the day that I was on my way to work and an SUV stopped in front of me beside the school entrance next to the radio station. I was slightly annoyed because I was running a little late, as usual.
That quickly subsided as a guy got out of the SUV and threw me an apologetic smile and held his finger up in the “just one minute” gesture. I smiled and gave him a “thumbs up.” I watched as he lifted his little boy out of the back and set him on the ground. The child looked like he was about 5 years old and he was wearing a Superman costume.
I could tell that he was excited as he danced around waiting for his dad to put his backpack around his shoulders. His dad then tousled his little boy’s hair and bent down to give him a hug.
I rolled the window down and could hear his dad yell out as the little boy ran toward the gate.
“Hurry in there and have fun,” he said. The little boy raced toward the gate with his Superman cape flying a little in the wind.
The dad got back into the driver’s seat of the SUV but I could see him leaning over into the passenger’s seat to make sure his son made it into the school safely. His face was a mixture of love and pride as he watched his little Superman head off to a day of Halloween fun.
I smiled. Just as the little blond boy with his little-boy haircut reached the gate, his cape stopped flying as he screeched his blue tennis shoes to a halt. I thought he must have forgotten something as he turned back toward the SUV.
No. He turned back, smiled a great big smile, raised his little hand in the air and waved. In that moment, he let his dad know that even though he was excited about his day, his dad was still the most important thing in his world.
His dad rolled down the window and called out, “Love you.” The little boy turned and raced inside.
I thought about all of the big smiles and little waves I have given and received over the years from my kids, friends and family.
I then thought about all of the times I wish I would’ve taken that one second to stop and turn around at the gate. That one moment I should have smiled and waved to let the person know I loved them. The moment I will never get back. It made me realize that every time you see someone you love, it could be the last.
I will never miss another opportunity to tell the people in my life that I love them. None of us knows what tomorrow may bring. Those we love and think will be in our loop for a lifetime may only be there for a season.
Don’t miss that precious second it takes to tell them you love them; you will be glad that you did. To the people in my life, I say thank you for keeping me in the loop.
Linell Hoffmann of Chowchilla is an account executive at KMJ Radio in Fresno. She can be reached on Facebook or by email at email@example.com.