When you look back over the past month, what single moment stands out?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, then a moment is truly priceless. Pictures are so special because they snap an image of a moment and memorialize them for the future. We can always look back on that picture and reminsce on the events of that moment. That’s something everyone appreciates in some sense. I don’t know a single person that hates photos and looking back on old moments. But the thing that’s even more special than photos is the moments themselves.

When you’re experiencing a special, once in a lifetime moment everything else seems to fade away. And the only thing we want to do in that moment is enjoy it. And that’s a powerful feeling that nothing can ever replicate. The most we can do is take the time to remember those moments for what they were. It helps us reignite some of the feelings, and stay grateful for those great moments. And most importantly, remembering special moments often helps us remember them later in life when memory starts to falter. So when you look back over the past month, what single moment stands out?

Here’s a short story on what single moment stands out when I look back on the past month.

We looked at each other and all started shaking our heads. This wasn’t our first time dealing with this offboarding process but for whatever reason they were taking forever this time. And my family is from Jamaica so they usually don’t waste time searching our suitcases for illegal products. We were annoyed. But as soon as we walked outside the sliding doors into the hot Jamaica sun everyone started smiling. My whole family lit up and looked excited to finally be surrounded by true Jamaican culture.

Then a few minutes later we threw our bags on this big hefty tour bus. And we all shuffled into the bus and grabbed whatever seats we wanted. It was like ten of us on a tour bus that seated at least thirty. We were all pretty comfortable. Two hours later we made it home to the house up in the hills. And it was great seeing all the other family that lived in Jamaica. It was fun just hugging everyone and talking about life. It was a year or two since I had seen any of them. The very next day we all headed to the beach at this cool secret waterfall.

But we had to pack into the same tour bus to get all thirty people there. And after swimming all day we packed into the same bus again to get food. It was more than thirty of us riding on the bus at this point. So it was hard getting any space to get comfortable or stretch your feet. It was less than desirable. And everyone was annoyed with the whole bus situation. It was hot, sticky, and cramped everytime we had to get on the bus. And we were riding the bus literally everywhere we went doing the trip.

Then one day we were heading to a different beach that was farther out. It was around three hours travel time. And nobody wanted to be on the bus for three whole hours in torture. But it was the only option we had to get to where we were going. So we packed in like usual and sat squished up like sardines. Everyone seemed annoyed and fed up and we didn’t even leave yet. This bus was going to ruin our whole day if not the whole vacation. But then something happened during the ride that changed the mood.

My mom started singing an old Jamaican game song with my aunts. Nobody knew what they were singing but it sounded fun and interesting. One person would sing, “13, ah you stole the cookie from the cookie jar.” Then the person numbered 13 would reply, “Who me?” The first person would say, “Yes you!” 13 would say, “Couldn’t be…” And the first person would reply, “Then ah who?” And the whole song would start over with someone else being blamed for the theft. It was hilarious seeing all my aunts going back and forth singing. Eventually, my mom explained it to everyone and the whole bus started singing the game.

And in that moment, I was super happy and having a lot of fun. But the thing that made me really happy was seeing how everyone was having a blast singing and playing along. My whole family was enjoying themselves and laughing with each other. That’s when I realized the bus was holding almost everyone in my family and forcing us to interact with each other. The bus was the glue holding my family together at that moment. And we just had to be creative and positive to make the most of it. I felt the energy of all my family on the bus that day. And it was so simple but so powerful to me seeing everyone smile and laugh. That was the moment that sticks out the most from the past month.

I love you all. Thank you bus for forcing my family to be a family again!

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