Soft and fragile as rose petals, their stems left long in the vase, one stands poised and tensed over the yawning abyss, toes curled just over the edge. Terrified and overwhelmed, a sweet cake pulled too soon from the oven, the center slowly sinking.
A wire severed? A connection lost? But no! Remember!
He takes his lunch to sit with a kid he doesn’t much like because the kid is alone at a lunch table.
He insists on saying hello every single day to one who is unable to say hello back.
She listened when nothing said made any sense.
He faces his tormentors, is unexpectedly kind to them, and then walks away.
She made the phone call she didn’t want to make.
He found a few right words and said them out loud.
She stopped what she was doing to fix the copy machine.
She noticed the new haircut.
She said “I love you” when it was least expected and needed most.
He shared the Ring Dings.
He forgave the unexpected outburst.
She said she was sorry. And really was.
He shared the idea.
She stayed up all night to read the poems.
He remembered not just the birthday, but so many other un special special days as well.
He held my hand.
She attempts to understand the heretofore incomprehensible, from football to lyric poetry, simply because the loved people loved these things.
She was the person to mention a weight loss when one thought no one noticed.
He did the dishes. Night after night.
She knew when to say nothing at all.
Reaching out and reaching beyond ourselves. We do. These moments float around us like the nearly imperceivable motes from a dandelion. Look up. They are there.
Is being kind the bravest act of all? And if one has been kind, if one has been loved, is the soul then set free?
Psalm 23: The Tanakh (The Hebrew Bible, 1985)
1. The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
2. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me to water in places of repose;
3. He renews my life; He guides me in right paths as befits His name.
4. Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.
5. You spread a table before me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant.
6. Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for many long years.
For SAB, z”l