What Did You See
We stood together on the porch, my wife and I, just before the break of dawn. We spoke of many things and relived parts of the past. The air was cool as it is the fall of the year. I could feel the bite of old man winter on my bare feet. “How pretty she looks after all these years,” I keep saying to myself. It rained last night and the streets are still wet. You can hear the distinct splash of cars as they pass. The headlamps illuminated my street and revealed the lovely yellow, brown and red fall colors hidden by the darkness. Sure, big business is afoot and the early bird gets the worm. But who wants a worm, me or you. What did you see? What did you hear? Was it the peaceful sounds of laughter, and joy, and freedom? Knowing all is provided for in the land of the free, the land of the strong, Gods land.
We can’t lose what we do not have; naked we come into this world, empty-handed crying for mother’s milk. What did you see? The leaves are darker now, and more and more of the morning sun passes through the trees. In the background, can you hear the train’s whistle from time to time? We’ll be smelling coffee soon. The birds and squirrels are busy gathering food in a dance like serenade.
I remember one lazy Saturday morning, as the sun came peeking through the bedroom window, I looked into her eyes, and realized, for the first time, how blessed we are just to have someone special to spend time with. I see my reflection in her eyes. I’m thankful to see myself there, inside those two teardrops sent from heaven. What do I see? A blessing! If there’s a debt, how would I ever be able to repay it? This gift was chosen specifically for me. It provides for all my emotional needs. It has brought and continues to bring new life into my world. It’s safe to say, this gift is priceless. There is none so blind, they say, than he who refuses to see. But they do not say what. See what? Hear what? What didn’t you see? Are you blind, or just refusing to see? I’ll keep looking for the brighter days that are sure to come, you too if we continue to seek them. I’ll continue to look for the good in people, and search for ways to better myself in the process. I’ll refuse to turn a blind eye knowing my help is needed. I’ll make certain that I did all I could do, and seek the aid of others if needed to ensure that all has been done.
What do I see? I see a world where material things are used to help those people in need, and not to make people feel bad because they do not have. I see me sharing. I see you sharing. I see you and me smiling as a result of our sharing. Will I wake to find it’s all a dream because others refuse to see the benefits and beauty in giving? Do you see a selfish person when you stand before your mirror? All I see is the good in you, and I remain hopeful the same is sought in me.
There was an elderly woman who lived up the street from me. I was a child at the time, age nine or maybe ten. Her name was Mrs. Sanders. She seemed to always find some work for me to do. We were together a lot. She owned several homes and rented rooms. I cut the grass and raked leaves and helped her to make minor repairs on her various properties and she paid me a modest sum for each task. Living on the east-side of Detroit, a poor child from a broken home, the money came in handy. I never got into trouble because she kept me busy late into the night most of the time, as there was always something to do. I was willing to help her do anything. One night while looking out my window, I saw Mrs. Sanders drive up in front of her house. She missed the drive-way and proceeded to back-up her car. She backed back too far and hit the car behind her. In a panic, she sped up, and hit the car in front of her. She attempted to turn her car around and somehow hit a third car and then a tree. By now people began to emerge from their homes to see what all the noise was about, and of course, the police were called. In the meantime, Mrs. Sanders continued to make attempts to park her car, back and forward she went, each time missing her mark, hitting something else instead. I wanted desperately to help her, but at age nine what could I do. My mother had sent us to bed, and had told me to stay out of the window. No amount of money or any other thing would have helped Mrs. Sanders’ situation because Mrs. Sanders had simply gotten old, too old to drive, as pointed out by the people who stood watching and the police upon their arrival. Time had caught-up to her. Her eyes had gone bad, her hearing as well. But she never gave up trying. I can still see her face and that loving smile she greeted me with. Years after she was forced to stop driving, until the day she died, she continued to rent rooms to people who needed shelter. Everything she had, she used to help others. I hope the same will be said about me one day. It’s easy to miss seeing the good in people if we continue to seek, and remember, the bad. As people, most of us have five senses to collect information. With my eyes close I can still say with certainty, there went a plane, or those flowers smell nice. Without looking, do cat taste like fish? Is it a wet pillow or a dry hole?
We came into this world, and will leave it, empty-handed, when that time comes, when it’s too late to change your ways. How do you want to be remembered, as a loving and given person, surrounded by people who remember you for all the good you sought and shared with others or some selfish self-centered individual not deserving of fresh air nor the ground you’ll be buried under.