I had a cathartic experience this morning after listening to the weekly Story Corps segment on NPR. Frequently, these stories tug at my heartstrings and this morning’s episode was no different. In this instance, Bill Jones, the first single man to adopt a child in California, told the story of his adopted son, Aaron. The fact that Jones is gay was only incidental to the story and added little to the poignancy of the story, which revolved around the central axis of a parent and a child’s bond. He spoke of his great joy from Aaron’s adoption, the joys of fatherhood and then he told us of Aaron’s psychological problems, which eventually led to his early death from a drug overdose. In just a few minutes, Jones had touched the loftiest highs and the deepest lows of the human condition. It was a very touching story. Then a moment or two after the story had aired the host, Steve Inskeep, came back on the air and spoke in seeming confidence to the listening audience, “Go ahead and take a moment.” His statement was like an emotional exclamation point that doubled down on the story’s original impact. Hours later, still recalling that moment, I’m still feeling verklempt (Thank you Joanie) because of it.
NPR has coined the phrase, ‘Driveway Moment’ when speaking about their stories that are so compelling that listeners will sit in their parked cars, in their driveways after driving home, just to hear the end of a story. Technically, this wasn’t a driveway moment, because I was tearing down the highway at 60 MPH, while I was tearing up because of it. Maybe I was so moved by this story, because in part it is the dregs of February now, where not much happens except that it is cold outside. We get the paper and every Friday it publishes the Get Out section that lists things to do about town this weekend. Somehow fittingly, this week’s lead is the Ice Capades version of Disney’s Frozen. We are expecting a wintery-mix this evening. It looks bleak out, but I still have hope. The Saint Louis Cardinals began spring training yesterday.