Thank you, Irma?

Yes, thanks are to be given for in every mess one usually finds something of value. Mine was found first at the airport and then just some place else.

I was at the airport awaiting the return of my wife and mother in law from Irma-exile. The plane was six hours late. I sat and read mostly until I spied the largest black Lab I’ve ever seen. Attached to him was a handle and attached to the handle was a gentleman who was deaf, blind, and mute. Holding his arm was his wife who was placing him in a chair. She had to do battle with American Airlines to find their luggage. She placed his carry-on in front of him between his legs, tapped into his palm what was going on, and the dog lay down in a way that blocked anyone or anything from getting near the bag or the man.

Those who know me know I’m fond of saying that if I got along with adults the way I get along with dogs and children I could be king. Regrettably I don’t. For want of anything else to do, I took my tired eyes along with my tired body and sat myself two seats from the man, about where the dog’s tail ended. As I settled in the dog looked at me. I greeted him and he wagged his tail. That was a good sign because his mouth was about the size of the shark’s in Jaws. In a few minutes he languidly arose, turned around, looked at me again and again wagged his tail. I said, “Hey.” He put his head on my lap and for about 10 minutes I scratched his ears and patted his head. All of this is pre-quel.

The dog, tired maybe of standing, lay back down at his post, while his master began fumbling with his carry-on searching for something in the outside zipper pouch. While doing that a pharmacy bottle of large pills fell out, hit the floor and rolled towards me. He of course neither heard nor saw that happen. The reason the pre-quel is important is that the pills ended up between the dog’s front and rear legs. Without his having accepted my presence, I would not have dared reach my hand down there for fear of losing it. I said to the dog something silly. “I’m going to pick that up,OK?” He looked at me, kindly so I bent forward–slowly, snagged the bottle, leaned forward some more, took the man’s hand in mine and pressed the bottle into it. He uttered something that I assume was thank you, but sounded like a sound from a Jurassic Park animal.

Then what this is all about happened. He reached back, took my hand, and squeezed it firmly in thanks. I can not adequately describe to you how warming was that moment. I felt good, maybe better put I felt like I was good, had done something good. Not moments later my family showed up, we collected the luggage, and left. But that feeling left with me. It had a strange and compelling impact that days later I am still feeling.

The next day I was somewhere with chairs. I can’t remember where. Hurricanes will do that to you. An elderly woman had placed her large boned and heavy husband in a seat to wait for her to do something and then found she couldn’t get him out of it. Try as they both might, he couldn’t get his butt past a few inches off the chair. I happened by and said, “‘Mind if I help?” They both said, “Yes, please” in unison. I slipped my arm under his. I grabbed his bicep and he mine and in a moment he was upright, swaying, but up upright. No biggee. I turned to leave with his thank you trying to catch up to my ears. When it did, it re-kindled the feeling from the airport.

So what’s the take away? It doesn’t take much to do something really meaningful, not time not money, just a thought. The appreciation is immeasurable. But the sense of goodness, of purpose for being on earth, of feeling like maybe all that stuff your parents drummed into your head not only stuck but was right–well, excuse the stolen thought, was priceless. I’ll go for another, “Try it. You’ll like it.”

I’m sorry it took the massive destruction wreaked upon this area of the world for me to get that lesson. It seems almost a biblical happening. But I got the message. So, yes, thank you Irma.

Remember: Mirth, Wind and Ire with

“More Mirth, Wind, and Ire” coming soon.

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