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Just Being There

Just Being There

Hello and good day!

A young man came into our chocolate shop with his grandma yesterday. He was in town visiting her and was helping her run errands.

They needed chocolate for a party.

I noticed how kind and caring the grandson and grandmother were with each other.

Grandma sat on a bench drinking hot chocolate and pointing to the items she wanted. Grandson had a shopping basket and was at her beck and call.

As I rang up the grandson, we got into a conversation.

"You and your grandma get along so well," I said.

"Oh yeah. All of us grandkids would do anything for grandma."

"She's been a good grandma?"

"The best." "What made her so good?"

"Good question. I've never put it into words before. I guess she was just kind of always around."

"How so?"

"I moved out of town for work about five years ago. I'm originally from here in Washington state. Grandma was born and raised in this area and so were my parents. When we were growing up, she was always around, reading us bedtimes stories, taking care of us, telling us about our parents when they were little. Nothing big. She was just always there. We were used to her, and we love her."

Later in the day, a grandpa came in by himself. He was picking up treats for his family.

As I try to do with most of our customers, I attempted to pry into his personal life.

"Who are the treats for?" I asked.

"For everybody, but mostly for my grandson."

"He's coming over today?" i asked

"Today and almost every day. He comes over all the time."

"You like spending time with him?"

"He's my best buddy."

"What do you do together?"

"He loves to play with cars, so I sit on the ground with him, and we play cars together."

"Is he your daughter's son or your son's son?"

"Daughter's son. The dad walked out on both of them. He turned out to be a bad guy."

"Your grandson is lucky to have you." "We're lucky to have each other."

Something tells me that this grandson will grow up to love and admire his grandpa.

There is a wonderful young lady who spends time in one of our chocolate shops.

She is seventeen and her father passed away a couple of years ago.

Her father and mother had split up and the father was rough around the edges.

He was a heavy drinker and heavy smoker and a rambling man.

Even so, her dad kept coming around after the separation.

He loved his daughter and didn't walk away from her.

The girl wrote an essay about her father's death for English class, and she let me read it. It was an extraordinary piece of writing.

Despite his faults, she loved being with her dad.

Her favorite moments were the simple times, even though his breath smelled of whiskey, and his clothes smelled of cigarettes. He wasn't a belligerent person.

They sat and talked. He told her that he loved her. He gave her his time and that was what she cherished and missed the most.

My wife lost her mother about a year and a half before we got married.

Her father fell into a deep depression after that, and it went on for many years.

From what I've gathered about the mother-in-law who I was never able to meet, it sounds like she was a very quiet person.

She was from the northern Peruvian beach town of Chiclayo, had an overbearing mother, and was raised to be meek and humble.

She loved to laugh and eat and cook. She was hardworking and mild tempered.

She let her husband call the shots and do the talking while she dedicated herself to taking care of the house and family behind the scenes.

Her presence was not strongly felt. But she was in the fabric of everything.

You notice air most in its absence.

Such was Soledad. She was the air. Always there and absolutely essential, even when you didn't notice her.

Yesterday it rained heavy all morning and into the early afternoon.

Late afternoon, the sky grudgingly gave way to a beautiful autumn sky, blue, grey, and white. Wind from the storm blew leaves and pine needles and pinecones into the streets. Yellow maple leaves stuck to the ground, soaked through and pasted to the concrete.

I took a walk with my family around the lake in front of our house after working in the shop during the first part of the day.

The wind was still blowing hard and trees with red, gold, and bright green leaves danced beneath the canopy of pines, furs, and cedars.

For whatever reason, my three sons decided to hold my hands and snuggle up against me during the entire two-mile walk.

I never realized it, but my big, strong, dad body is good for pulling kids along while they hang from me.

The weight would have overwhelmed my wife.

Thus, it was a pleasure uniquely suited for me.

Heads pushed into my armpits.

My arms wrapped around necks.

My hands were pulled down across chests and held in place.

Our little one hugged my leg.

I had to step carefully so as not to knock him down.

We made slow time and that was perfect by me.

The cold late afternoon breeze blew through and numbed our faces.

Blue sky continued to win its battle against the morning as wind pushed away the clouds.

It dawned on me.

I can never really be happier than I was yesterday afternoon.

My heart is most full just being there.

There are a lot of big things in the world. A lot of marvels. A lot of spectacles.

Many miracles of engineering. All extremely impressive and worthy pursuits.

The danger in chasing action and progress is that you can easily forget the simple things that always have and always will mean the most.

Work and technology are supposed to facilitate and increase our wellbeing, not distract us from it.

Many times, simple truths are forgotten or ignored because their simplicity is taken for a lack of depth.

One of the simplest and most profound truths in this world is that human beings are rarely happier than when they are spending time with people who they really like and care about.

Not many things ever beat just being there.

 Thank you so much for time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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