Yesterday I got an unexpected bill in the mail.
Really, it was no big deal. Just money. It gets paid.
But it put me in a bit of a tailspin. I felt my energy draining, my thoughts turning negative… Perhaps you know the routine?
Earlier in the day I stopped for gas. As I filled my tank a car pulled in behind me, an older model Ford Escort. The driver was a young man. I made eye contact with his passenger and I assume he was the driver’s father.
Dad was an unhealthy shade of pale. An oxgen tube led from his nostrils to the backseat of the cramped Escort. If I had to bet, I’d guess that his son and he were on the way to a doctor’s appointment.
Dad did not look long for this world.
After putting a few dollars of gas in the car, Son returned to his vehicle, and without saying a word, he and Dad drove off.
I could feel the heaviness between them. The unspoken heaviness.
And I felt very grateful for my life.
My thoughts then went to an incident that happened a couple weeks ago. We were visiting my aunt, a nun who runs a ministry for Latino migrant workers. In the afternoon, five men came over on their bicycles to collect some food from the ministry.
The temperature was in the teens. My aunt was suprised that most of the men had gloves — often they do not. I helped her hand out some food and I noticed one man’s shoes. Penny loafers. Not exactly insulated boots for a cold winter’s day.
As I handed him a package of pasta, I noticed the name inscribed on his thin blue coat.
And I promised myself I would remember that jacket the next time I let my old fears inside the door.