I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display
of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.'
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those
'Is that right? Let me see it,' said Miller.'
'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue
and I sort of go for red.
Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.'
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and
next trip this way let me look at that red marble,' Mr. Miller told the boy.'
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to
help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our
community, all three are in very poor circumstances.
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.
They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts... all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her, and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size, they came to pay their debt.'
'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.'
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds... Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself... An unexpected phone call from an old friend... Green stoplights on your way to work... The fastest line at the grocery store... A good sing-along song on the radio... Your keys found right where you left them.
Share this to the people you'll never forget... I just Did...
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED.