I endure the same slow, mundane drive to work every day. I see the same landmarks, the same buildings, sometimes even the same people in the same cars. I drive the same 26 minutes, five days a week, and even with a myriad of options, I almost always take the same route. As I turn off of Wisconsin Avenue onto 92nd Street – the home stretch before I arrive at my second home – I see her in all her glory: Fist Bump Lady.
Fist Bump Lady, who shall be known as FBL henceforth, is the crossing guard at a crosswalk that leads directly to the Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. Short, pleasingly plump, and with an ever-ready smile on her face, FBL never fails to deliver. Sunny days are met with an extra spring in her step. Rainy days are no bother, and why would they be when you’ve got a bright yellow slicker and sturdy galoshes? Sleet and snow? No problem, for FBL is ready for that, too. I can’t say for sure that she has one of those stocking caps that looks like a panda bear, but she seems like the kind of person who would. She is ready for any of the Wisconsin elements, and cheerfully so.
Person after person, professional after professional, doctor after doctor – all are greeted with the same degree of enthusiasm, and all are offered a fist bump to start their day off right. A few outliers avert their eyes and rush past FBL. Most accept the offer, and give FBL a smile and a hearty fist bump back. A few other outliers have taken FBL under their wing, and bring her coffee or other treats (after a compulsory fist bump, of course.) It seems that in the land of all things Froedtert, FBL has become the mascot for healing what hurts us.
I admire this woman, FBL, because of her consistency and her zest for life. I don’t know a single thing about her, other than what I have witnessed as I wait at the crosswalk day after day, eager to move ahead 2 more blocks and make the turn into my home-away-from-home parking lot. But I do know this: she has made happiness her priority and nothing is going to get in the way of that. Not working a job most of us would not care to do. Not crappy Wisconsin weather, which is crappy too much of the time. Not even the occasional hater. No, no, no. FBL has made a choice to be happy no matter what, and through her deeds shows us it is a choice we could all make. Thanks for reminding us how to be in this world, FBL: That whoever we are and whatever we do, we can always be of good cheer.