“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings
My work takes me into many homes here in the metro.
My customers and their families, as the days go by (and sometimes weeks and months as I work on remodels, new houses etc. etc.) reveal, to me in what I take as a privilege, their hopes, dreams and as time passes, the fears they have for the future.
The masks come off. My incessant presence, on a day to day basis, in a shared endeavor and consistent conversation turns, as one would expect, to confidential matters as the phatic surrenders to the personal.
Arguments are heard, kisses and hugs, some deserved, some not so much, are given to family members as I stand by, drill or hammer in hand, smiling and marveling at how similar we all are. A confidence here and there, a nod, a look, a smile, a frown, a secret knowledge that is entrusted to me, now, while yet still on the periphery, I come closer, I am accepted, I am now, a proud co conspirator in the hoped for success of my new friends, and, part time, temporary family.
It’s an honor, it really is.
Driving home, I hope for Jeff or Johnny to get that new bike, for Melissa or Terri to make better grades, for Max to win his tennis tournament, for Andy to stop being so mean to his sister, for parents all, to continue to be patient, to have success and for their beautiful families to survive sickness and never see the downside of advantage.
It doesn’t always work out.
Sometimes, those folks, who were originally customers, who became your friends, decades ago, leave, unexpectedly.
This year, a long, long time friend and benefactor was murdered on the Indian Creek Trail.
He was a singular individual whose character was an example to all, I mean ALL that knew him. His family, of course, was and is devastated. His legion of friends, will, as long as they live, me included, never forget his generosity, great humor and unfailing efforts to make all of our lives a better place.
This Christmas my prayers and the prayers of my family, go to his family and his memory.
As for our commenting cognoscenti – I wish you all, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a great Festivus.
To Glaze a Sabermetrics NFL chip implant. (Insert the appropriate jokes here about “implants”.) 🙂
To Hearne, a guy who already has it all, even more.
To Paul- best wishes for a great new year and the knowledge that I am thrilled at how great things are going for him. (Hey buddy, I am working 50 plus hours a week now, seriously, I will call…) 🙂
To Kero, a trip on that bus with your best friends.
To “Guy Who Says What Others Think” a salute to a brother in arms.
To Stomper, continued perspicacity and compos mentis in the face of rage. Maybe there is hope.
To Harley, a cranial colon blow that relieves the pressure from the detritus acquired by way of hours and hours in front of the TV, oogling Rachel MadCow. 🙂
To those I didn’t mention, my family’s very best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.
Here is a beautiful 50 second video of an angel.
You know you love it.
Last, one more wish, for America, from, once again, Dickens.
“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence.
God Bless America.