I’m feeling pretty thankful today. Grateful.
I worked a few hours today at the kids’ school. I worked 2/3 of a day that the other teachers work five times a week. I basically dropped by to help out. I still can’t fathom how these women do this week after week. Caring for so many young children.
I am grateful that I get to do this, instead of have to do this.
Then I headed to the Y for a workout before picking the kids back up. I come up with a lot of excuses to avoid working out. Weeks go by when I’m too busy to work out. To walk. To do what I should be doing at a minimum of three times a week.
And a few minutes into my laps, a man in his seventies joined me on the track. It was hard to not notice him. The years have been hard on his spine. He resembled an upside down L. And yet he walked that track with a smile on his face. After a few laps, he stopped to lean back against a rail in an effort to straighten his body. He managed to put his head back and strained to almost form a straight line. Grimacing. Painfully stretching his body to its limits. Then a moment later he put the smile back on his face and hunched back over to walk a few more laps.
His next stop was to do push-ups against the wall. Again, the pain was palpable. I kept cruising around doing my easy stride. He suffered through what has to be a physical therapy routine. And just as before, he navigated his way back to the track, smiling at everyone who passed him by.
More then once I wanted to walk to his side and escort him around the track. I wanted to lift him up and carry him. I wanted to help him straighten his spine.
And I felt ridiculous for the griping I do. Spoiled for the meek effort I put forth. Utterly lazy.
I was unable to get this stranger out of my mind as I continued on with my day.
After I got the kids, we ran into a burrito joint to pick up dinner after such a *long*hard* day of toiling away. A family of four was eating an early dinner. Mom, dad, a baby of about one, and a girl of about seven. A bald girl. A girl obviously going through some sort of treatment for some sort of horrible disease.
I wanted to heal this girl. To give comfort to her parents. To help her sister. To take some of their fear. I know the fear. I don’t know their fear, but I know the fear. I can’t fathom that fear for my child.
Later tonight, as I watched my two children get their hair cut, I felt grateful for the health that we have. For the life that we have. Something as simple as a child’s haircut. I am thankful.