One of the most beautiful things about travelling to different places is that you get to meet a whole bunch of different people with unique experiences and views.
That’s exactly what happened this weekend with my cousins when we took some Ottawa limos out on the town on the city for a birthday party. My cousin Kamar always does it up big, so he had a big night planned that included a group of 30 of us going to an Ottawa Senators game (he’s a big fan) and then Mansion night club after.
I’m not a huge partier, but when a good friend or family member is having a jam, I partake and sometimes can get carried away! We started the drinking early at Kamar’s and it continued in the limos (we needed two with all the people!) and then, of course, more at the game.
By the time the hockey game was done, I knew I had a few too many…I wasn’t feeling so great. But, I knew the whole night was planned out and we had a big group that had to go a long way to get from Kanata, where the arena is, to downtown Ottawa where the club is. So, the only option I really had was to man up!
Unfortunately, my stomach wasn’t listening to my brain and I became sick in the limo. This was a horrible situation because everyone was having a great time and I couldn’t join in. When we got to the club, I told everyone to go ahead and that I would just stay in the limo.
I asked the limo driver if that was ok and she said “no, how about I drive you home instead? It’ll be free of charge”. “I’ve been in this position before” she said with a smile, “I’m not going to make you wait here all night for your friends”.
I was incredibly grateful and did offer to pay her, but she would not accept it. The thing is not only did she give me ride, but we ended up having an amazing conversation. Well, really it was just her telling me her story because I was too sick to talk, but that turned out to be for the best.
Her name is Shaneece and she had been driving limos for ten years now and said she loved it, but before that she had a very difficult life. She had been out on her own since she was 15 years old as her parents had died in car accident and she ran away from a foster home. Then she had many hardships including battling breast cancer and getting stabbed by someone trying to rob her!
Despite these hardships, she always pushed through and now lives a very happy life. And I can honestly say she was one of the nicest, most positive people I ever met. She told me one of the quotes that always got her through was from Tupac:
She said had an epiphany when she first heard that quote and right then she decided she is always going to keep a smile on and push through life no matter what comes her way. I’ll never forget the conversation we had. It was extremely inspirational and a good reminder that there are good people all over who are just trying to make the best of the hand they are dealt.
I won’t forget Shaneece the limo driver!