Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunrise Over Whately
The morning started with a sunrise that took my breath away.
It was like a painting with broad strokes of color erupting into vibrant hues of pink and purple and red. Silently, I recited a childhood poem, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailor’s take warning.” I may be a long way from the ocean, but the sunrise this morning served to predict that sailor’s would be wise not to set sail today.
The most important part of my day was a visit to my father at the Soldier’s Home. It was his third day there, so he is still becoming acquainted with the facility, his neighbors and the staff. The challenge of keeping positive was made easier by the gentle kindness of my friend, Sharon.
This kind woman reappeared in my life about ten years ago, after a twenty year hiatus.
We had a mutual friend in the late 70’s, or early 80’s. Our friend introduced me to Sharon at her wedding shower. Our paths crossed from time to time, but we became neighbors six years ago. Her twin sons played sports with my son. Sharon and/or her husband would be at games cheering. Her daughter was friendly with my eldest daughter. The girls are a year apart. The children shared a casual friendship that took its own meandering course.
However, as a result of the children, I was reminded that Sharon is a generous and kind person. She brings her warm spirit to all that she does. She is a heath aide, mostly to those with Alzheimer’s. Recently, I asked Sharon if she had any extra time during the week, if she would be available to be my companion for a few hours. Sharon’s schedule was pretty tight she did not have extra time. Sharon didn’t just decline, however. She called a friend who was recently retired and was willing to do some driving for me and Sharon recruited her 23-year old daughter to help me. As it turned out, Sharon had a bit of flexibility in her schedule and she was able to help me today.
Sharon drove me to the Soldier’s Home. After sitting through lunch with my father and trying to help him become more comfortable with the organization of his belongings, Sharon and I had to leave. My father called me later in the afternoon. He thanked me for coming and expressed the unaccountably warm feelings he felt toward Sharon. He felt like she was a long-time friend. These were kind words from an octogenarian.
As it turned out, the sun’s rays cast light and warmth into the day that had nothing to do with the weather. They served to illuminate the unexpected kindness of a friend. Sailors, raise your sails.