Mary shuffled with a limp while carrying the dirty dishes from the dining table to the kitchen. She tried to hide the fact that something was wrong from Jim, her husband of 42 years, and even though his back was to her as she walked, he knew instantly something was amiss.
“Is your hip hurting again honey,” asked Jim? He had turned to see her final two steps as she reached the kitchen sink; she was clearly favoring her left side. “Hon, how bad is it?”
“It’s okay Jim, just a little stiff from the arthritis. I’ll be fine; go read your paper and rest,” Mary replied with just a little white lie. Her hip and knee were on fire it seemed.
The Southwest flight from Phoenix landed in Sacramento on-time that Thursday night; a welcome end to a long and hot trip as witnessed by the sweat stains on the collar of Brad Smith’s white button down shirt. Why do I ever wear long sleeves to Arizona? Because his boss thinks it’s more professional than wearing a polo shirt, even though it was 102 degrees by 9:00 am this morning, and his last sales call ended at 6:15 that evening (with a resounding and fully anticipate NO!) Clearly rejection is professional when wearing a damp and smelly long sleeve shirt Brad thought as the plane landed.
The mechanical lady’s voice coming from the speaker on the air conditioned shuttle told Brad that he was headed toward the main terminal. Rather than go straight to his car parked on the 5th level, which was normal, he was headed downstairs to retrieve his suitcase from the lower level. The jogging gear Brad packed but did not use rendered his overhead bin sized suitcase too small, so he used the bigger one; ( note to Brad – stop pretending you will ever exercise while traveling when all hotels that you stay at have a bar). The shuttle stopped when Brad wasn’t paying attention and he bumped the lady next to him.
Have you noticed that the single most important driving force in some people’s life is to leave a legacy of “amazing” accomplishments for future generations to acknowledge or debate? The need for recognition of a life well lived is not detrimental, it is, given the human need for acceptance and love, highly understandable. However, if the preoccupation with shaping the future opinion of people whom you have never met overwhelms the responsibility of caring for those whom you should love today, then a review of your priorities is in order.
A mouse is a timid little creature, who under almost any circumstance when confronted with a dangerous situation will choose the option of flight over fight. This is a very logical position, given the non-threatening physical characteristics bestowed on the Mouse: short legs, a round body covered in white hair, a small mouth with smaller teeth, and a roar that closely resembles air slowly leaking from a balloon. A snake, on the other hand, seems content with fighting first and asking questions later. In fact, a snake rarely asks questions at all, they just strike. Also logical, because a snake’s body is designed for stealth, attack, and creating fear in an opponent or prey. It is not a coincidence then, that many snakes eat mice, so choosing to run, as opposed to joining a snake for dinner, is another good choice for a mouse. Sometimes though, running is not the first option.
A mirror is supposed to reflect backwards what actually exists, but almost always what we see is not all that is present, sometimes the image we see is not a realistic reflection of the truth……………
Last night was a long one for Bill; too little to eat, too much to drink and way too little sleep. The alarm only accentuated his pounding headache, so knocking the clock on to the floor of the hotel room seemed a fair exchange for waking him this early. Rolling out of bed, Bill walked, in not so much of a straight line, to the bathroom. What he saw in the mirror was not a pretty sight; although the mirror had been cruel to him for many years now, so he should have expected nothing less. Before washing his face Bill looked at his reflection in the mirror. The bloodshot eyes were no surprise; most mornings were met with varying shades of red surrounding black pupils. His once thick, black hair was thinning across the top and offered more grey than black. The sagging bags under his eyes were pronounced, looking like a wave of exhaustion pulling down his face. There is a crooked scar just under his right eye, a reminder of falling asleep while driving home late one night from somewhere that he should not have been. The morning beard is a staggered mixture of white and black. Why did the architect of this hotel make the mirrors so big? There was nothing here Bill wanted to see.
The lady seated to my left is quietly sleeping, now that the turbulence has ended and the plane is smoothly making its way across Texas. Her neatly groomed white hair frames a lightly tanned face, with lips that support a broad smile, and wrinkles that testify to memories of a life fully lived. She boasts those fine lines at the corners of her mouth that come from smiling more often than frowning. I had the pleasure of speaking to her while she was being helped onto a wheelchair while boarding. She didn’t understand English and it didn’t matter, because she said thanks with a sincere smile and nod when I offered help. I did not need a linguist to interpret her meaning.