here). She is also a peaceful, loving and gentle soul - I feel calm and very happy when I am around her.
Anyway, I am digressing here but I wanted to tell you about Maria first and emphasize how special this bracelet was to me. I wore it almost every day and I would look at it and be reminded of how blessed I am. Blessed with friendships that run so deep and true. I'm blessed with a wonderful husband who has worked hard to provide well for us and I'm blessed with two amazing adult children who are good and decent and the joy of my life. I have a home, plenty to eat, close family, and good health. Did I say I am blessed? We all are, really. We all are blessed--even the dark and troubled times are blessings. We need only be patient and God will reveal his plan and the blessings will be clear and obvious. But sometimes we forget. We feel sorry for ourselves and whine and complain when we are down and we take for granted the beauty in our lives. So my bracelet was a reminder that no matter what, I need only pause for a moment and think of all the grace and blessings surrounding me.
Did you notice I used the past tense when referring to my special bracelet? Yep, I did have a special bracelet . . . until today. I was in a fabric store this afternoon and it was crowded and I had several bolts that needed to be cut. It's one of those places where you have to take a ticket from the little red machine which dispenses a number representing your place in line. I pulled number 63. The digital sign above my head said, "Now serving No. 51." Really? I had 12 people ahead of me! Really? I knew I had a loooooong wait so I did what I do best and leaned on my cart and 'observed' people. The ladies cutting fabric were grumpy because they were busy and the people in line were grumpy because the wait was ridiculously long. I watched this circus going on around me and could feel the dark mood settling in. I was struck by the irony of the "Now Serving" sign as I contemplated what it means to 'Serve.' I started feeling crabby and judgmental toward the employees - it is their job to serve! But in the midst of this negative vibe, one employee stood out from the rest. She was like a breath of fresh air as she politely greeted each person. I watched her as she smiled a genuine smile and asked about each person's day and inquired what they were sewing with their fabric. She almost reminded me of Snow White as she seemed to 'whistle while she worked!' The other employees remained grumpy and barely spoke, but I noticed the mood of the customers began to change as this lovely woman made each person feel special. I just knew I was going to get a grumpy lady but fortunately when "No. 63" was called, I got the sweet employee! The first thing she said to me was, "What a beautiful bracelet," and she reached out and touched the word 'blessed.' We chatted while she cut my fabric and I found myself mesmerized by her happiness. When she finished, I thanked her and started to walk away, but something stopped me and I turned back to her, slipped my bracelet off my wrist and took her hand and dropped the bracelet into her open palm. She looked dumbfounded and started to protest but I waved her off and said, "you have blessed me today with your kindness - the bracelet belongs with you now." I will never forget the look on her face as I quickly turned to walk away. For a split second, I regretted giving away my lovely bracelet, but the joy I felt at seeing her face instantly took that regret away. I will never forget how her kindness blessed my day. My heart was full and I knew the bracelet was now with its rightful owner.
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” ~ Mother Teresa