Saturday, March 12, 2016
I studied his many degrees, the multitude of books on various topics of the human mind that were tightly arranged on the shelving unit. I glanced over at the cartoons pinned on the wall, and I chuckled as I admired his enormous collection of rubber ducks.
I was patiently waiting and allowing my thoughts to wander when he suddenly looked over his glasses, that are always perched upon his nose, and he asked if he had ever told me the story of his aunt.
In the years I've been under his care I've heard many stories, assorted anecdotes, and sometimes colorful jokes. This particular one, however, I hadn't heard or perhaps had and it just didn't have the impact on me that it did that day.
"Teri, have I told you about my aunt and her brother?"
"No Sir, I don't think so."
"My aunt that escaped the Holocaust?"
"No Sir, I don't believe I've heard about her before."
"Oh, she was a wonderful woman, simply wonderful. One time I asked her how she managed to be such an optimist after enduring the horrors that led up to the Holocaust and her escape. She looked at me, with wisdom dancing in her eyes, and said 'My brother is the optimist. He's always looking for the best, expecting the best, and he's continually disappointed when it doesn't happen. I, on the other hand, am a pessimist. I have learned to expect the worst and by doing so each day brings me a miracle, something I didn't expect. I've learned to appreciate the beauty in things that happen others might easily overlook and those things bring me great joy."
I thought of her words of wisdom today several times, once when I walked outside to see that my Magnolia tree had bloomed with beautiful, large, white petals accented with a deep purple. I thought of his story about an hour later while sitting in a restaurant. I glanced out of the window and saw that two very close, long time, friends had pulled into the parking lot and were on their way in, and I thought of those pearls of spoken words just now as I looked across the room and saw soft brown eyes gazing at me atop an encouraging smile that, without words, assured me all is as it should be.
There are miracles everywhere if we just take the time to acknowledge them.