Two moments really come to mind when I think about things that have surprised me over the last 40 years.
Back in 1989, I had been collecting trading cards for a few years and a new company came out with a set of cards- Upper Deck- within that set was the Star Rookie card of Ken Griffey Jr. and my cousin and I wanted it worse then anything we had ever wanted in our lives.
My cousin ended up getting several of them and I bought pack after pack but never pulled one. I mean, sure, I could have just bought one from the local card shop but if you are a card collector, you know it’s not the same as pulling one for yourself.
One night, my mom came home from bingo and had bought me a pack of 1989 Upper Deck cards as a surprise- I quickly ripped the pack open and start shifting through the cards and BOOM…there he was, looking back at me and I remember screaming and just acting a fool because it had finally happened…I had pulled this iconic card!
Decades later I would learn that my mom had stopped by the card shop on her way to bingo and bought a pack of Upper Deck AND the Ken Griffey Jr card- she had carefully opened the bottom of the pack and slid it in there. As a kid, I just ripped into the pack the normal way- from the top and I didn’t count the cards or anything like that- so her plan had worked perfectly and I got to pull the card that would change my entire life.
Over the years, mom would take that card to bingo with her for “good luck”- it has fallen out of the case and been dropped several times- it’s dirty, bent and in rough shape but it’s also framed and currently hanging in my house- not a version of the card but that exact card- creases and all.
It was the love of that card that helped lead to the creation of my charity- Commons4Kids and I give one of those away every time we hit a million milestone.
My mom passed away last year and I made sure she was buried with a copy of that card.
The other time I was surprised- just as equally and life changing- was on October 20th, 2003 when I started talking to this cute girl on Yahoo personals/chat. I talked her into driving an hour, in the middle of the night to meet a stranger who lived in the projects. AND SHE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP!
Now, going on 16 years later, I get to wake up next to her every single day…I was surprised then and it continues to surprise me every single time I realize that I’m actually married to that amazing girl.
Love, Peace and Sharkyness