I Choose the Smaller One


Christmas is over. The stress is gone. My tree is down and I feel peace inside sitting here today. It is not too difficult to go back over the Christmas Day celebration with my kids and their kids and reflect. It was so nice to have most of the family here, and yet there was tension and not as much laughter as I had hoped for. It is alright. As I told you the other day, I have made a strict rule to let it go. I can’t change anyone. Only people can change if they want to.

Today I went to see Al. Al the one who felt threatened by his dad who never knew how to show any feelings. Al was a big guy. He still is but believe it or not, he is fifty pounds lighter due to the Parkinson’s Disease.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to go or not. The weather was predicting snow and I am a big baby to drive on it. My car is not meant for northern winters either. God closed up the skies and let me know that he was with me by keeping it dry outside with just a hint of a snowflake here and there.

When I walked in to his room, he was sound asleep. I tickled his foot and he opened those eyes and peered at me and I got the faintest of smiles. As he became more aware of my presence, I got an even bigger smile. He sat up and we chatted. He asked for more of his vintage cars and I said I would bring two the next time I came to visit. I told him I brought him more diet coke, and I got the biggest smile ever. He and his coca are best friends.

I take great care to not miss one tiny action that lets me know he is tolerating pain for the day. Today he was having a good day. Thank-you God. Before I realized it, time had ticked to noon and he got up to use the bathroom so he could go to lunch. I waited and walked with him down to the dining room. His eating buddy who also has Parkinson’s was sitting at a near by table trying to get the border of a new puzzle figured out.

I asked him if he wanted help and he said sure, so I helped him turn all the puzzle pieces right side up and we found all the straight-edge pieces. I think he was so glad for my help. He looked up at me and gave me the biggest grin.

Now tell me, which would you choose? A Christmas that was slightly strained, or a quiet visit with Al who gave me the most genuine smile he could muster. He was truly glad I was there. He may be middle-aged. He may be mentally-impaired. He may have PD, but he is sincere, honest, and open. It was a breath of fresh air. I will take those little smiles over anything else because they make me feel special, loved and needed. I love you bud.

Several have asked about Al here at WordPress, and so with Al’s permission I snapped some photos of him today and his room.

al at millersal standingal walkingal's roomal's room 2