The day started so early, the birds weren't even stirring yet. The rain pelted down hitting pavement and hurling back bursts of glare illuminated by headlights. I was content to be one of a few drivers on the road at this hour. I could see pools of rain hanging on the highway's edge thinking hydro planing would come easy and I must be extra careful this trip. Weather reports filled the next few days with rain showers for the duration of my trip to Nashville. I planned to arrive an hour early for my meeting with Representative Darren Jernigan so there was no risk to get a commitment to carry my bill to eliminate the statute of limitations in the state of Tennessee.
I grew tense as I approached the city limits and saw bright red tail lights for all five interstate lanes. My approach to the capital was reduced to a standstill in bumper to bumper traffic with 30 minutes to spare for the remainder of my trip. The time to get to the center of Nashville turned out to be an hour. I prayed not to be late. What it took to make that possible blows my mind. An huge act of kindness by a local merchant allowed me to be on time. Not only did the attendant save me from walking two additional blocks uphill, I suspect the parking space I was permitted to park in belonged to a customer with a permit for a "reserved space". She assured me that I could take all the time I needed at the capital, just be back before 4:55 pm. Shocked, and immediately appreciative followed by an ear-to-ear smile, I thanked her enthusiastically for helping me out.
My umbrella popped open with the flick of the release button. I swung the umbrella skyward and began with a up the hill toward the War Memorial Building. I arrived at the entrance noticing the long line awaiting entry. My hopes dashed for a moment as I realized I would probably be late. I used to be late for everything. Why couldn't this be different? I squeezed through the first doorway only to realize there was not a long line, but just a couple of gentlemen in front of me. I passed through the security process and picked up my gait toward the information center to retrieve the TN's 109th session General Assembly. I needed to make sure he was in the same office as last year. I looked for a spot to stop and inspect my booklet. Finding an open seat along the bustling hallway, I sat to verify my destination and take a breath. Ah, same place. I was close. I looked at my watch to discover I would not be late to this very important meeting. I sighed relief for a split second and my mind raced in anticipation of speaking with Rep. Jernigan again.
When I could wait no longer, I entered suite 24. I was greeted by Rep. Jernigan's executive assistant with a familiarity nod and a smile. I stepped toward her desk and she asked me if I knew who happen to be sitting directly ahead of me. Retired Senator Joe Haynes has come by to visit. She wanted to take me over to speak with him. I could hardly believe my eyes. This man represented my bill in the Senate when I attempted this change to TN law in 1996. What are the odds? Another mind blower.
I reached out my hand to be enveloped by Senator Haynes' out stretched hands. I leaned in to be able to whisper and still be heard.
"Do you remember who I am?" I asked.
He nodded and smiled with eyes sparkling behind his spectacles. 'Yes, I do.'
I reminded him that I had said 'yes' when he asked me back then, would I come back and try again.
Quietly he responded, 'I knew you would'.