By Cathy Tallady
Last Monday when my garbage was picked up, one of the men put the cans back on the trolley and wheeled it up to my garage. It never happened before and I couldn’t get to my door in time to thank him for his kindness. But the feeling of thankfulness stayed with me and warmed my day.
Such a little thing, I thought – and then I thought again – about little things and how I remember them.
The big events in our lives are so important, we never forget them; our wedding day, the birth of a child, family reunions – all the big moments.
But what about the little things – day-to-day things – like Monday and the kind garbage man. I thought about the brief moments that bring joy, laughter and thankfulness and how they enrich my life giving unexpected pleasure.
For example – a phone call out of the blue one afternoon and a deep voice saying, “Remember me?” It was an old friend from years ago. We caught up, reminisced, laughed and cried for 40 minutes. A small thing really, but it means so much that day.
Phone calls are often so welcome, especially at night when I may be feeling lonely. And they can bring us together in ways texting and emails never can. I worry about this generation who communicates this way so much of the time and I give a silent thank you to Alexander Graham Bell whenever I connect with someone I love for his invention of the telephone.
And there are so many other small moments of joy.
On my birthday last fall, a wonderful couple just happened to stop by unexpectedly with wine and cake. For me it was so much better than a lavish party and I treasure these dear people.
Special moments to be cherished and remembered as well as the high events in my life.
Like my neighbor next door who spent an hour picking up twigs and small branches in my yard after a gusty storm. He shrugged off my thanks by saying he just enjoyed being outdoors.
And my neighbor across the street who brings my paper and mainland puts them between my door because my trip down the driveway via my walker looks precarious.
A glorious day of sun after a series of dark and gloomy clouds.
And my tabby kitty who unexpectedly jumps on my lap and settles down to purr. I can almost feel my blood pressure lower and my body relax along with hers.
Handwritten notes in my mailbox on special paper, endearing messages of love or support. I read them over and over, and then keep them to read again when I might be feeling a bit down.
My friend, the florist who sent me long-stemmed red rose on Valentine's Day – in remembrance of my late husband who used to limp with his cane to the store every Valentine's Day to buy his one expression of love.
Strangers, who open doors for me or just give a friendly nod and smile.
We all remember, I imagine, those really big times in our lives when special things happened to us. We hold them very dear, of course.
But I’m beginning to recognize the small moments, surprising me with their thoughtfulness and love – all unexpected that work their way into my life and bring me great joy. I treasure them.
Cathy Tallady of Lewiston is aware of the little things that add up.