Monday, September 28

Every Day Is A Gift

Saturday, my cousin Kirk and I were having a brilliantly stimulating conversation on the patio at his Mom's house (my Aunt Mary Lou). The topic didn't much matter; this was just two old friends getting together for meaningful conversation. And there was some general bs in there, too, I must admit.

He related an occasion where he'd been at the mall. Just ahead of him was an elderly couple who were having difficulty completing their transaction at a checkout; all they wanted to do at this store was to buy some stamps.

Because of the delay, there was plenty of time to take in what was going on ahead of him.

The woman was in a wheelchair, and was obviously an invalid. The man, apparently her husband, was essentially using her wheelchair as a walker. How these two souls got around was a mystery - God forbid one of them had to drive, let alone how the Missus got out of her wheelchair.

When it came time to pay for their transaction, the time spent for the man to extricate his wallet from his trousers and then the money could have been measured in glacial terms.

All this time, Kirk is beside himself. The day wasn't going along particularly well, and this was adding to the frustration of the day. But this isn't a story about Kirk, rather, it's about the events that were about to unfold.

After paying for his purchase, and having been given the stamps, the woman reached out with her frail hand and snatched the stamps out of his. Returning his wallet to his pocket was equally as painful as getting it out. And after having done so, and turning back round to the teller, at once did not know where the stamps had disappeared to.

The teller had been witness to all of this as well, and reassured the man "Your wife has that under control."

After they turned to walk away - rather, wheel and shuffle - Kirk then made his transaction and had caught up to them before they had left the store.

Directly ahead of the couple was a greeting card rack where, on a card smack dab in the front, was a picture of a scantily-clad girl. The Missus, seeing the intent gaze of her husband, muttered a comment of disgust. Kirk was privy to this outburst - he was now abreast of the couple. The man turned to Kirk, and...

Kirk said he wishes he would have had a camera at that moment. To have captured the greatest smile that has ever been smiled. For the man had an ear-to-ear grin that said volumes about life. About how Kirk felt he had just been kicked in the face, having just been told that all your problems are minuscule.

Because the man had turned to Kirk and smiled that smile, and said:

"Young man, every day is a gift."


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