Our lives could have been much different. Any one of us.
But here we are, right now, sitting together. Reading this. And it is all because every minute of every hour, in all our days, added up to this one. Exactly as it happened.
Otherwise, we wouldn’t be right here. Right now. Together.
It is an incredibly magnificent schematic, whether it occurs by intention or happenstance. I don’t want to debate that here. Because the truth is, I do not have a scrap of proof to offer, in either case. Not one iota.
I’ve never met anyone who has, actually. And, that holds true for a lot of things. I have many beliefs, but those rely on faith, not proof.
Back to the topic. This all could have gone much differently. From way before we were born. And now. Most of our days seem quite ordinary, or even mundane. But I assure you, one little slip of the tickity-tock and you could have been Adam Rabinowitz.
This all fills my mind, because I was reminded of a time when I was quite young. Probably three, or four-years-old. It is one of my first memories. I was with my Mom at the grocery store. A smaller market on Main Street, called Stumps. It was the winter time, as I can remember having on my hand-me-down winter coat and mittens. It was just Mom & I. Looking back, I suppose Dad was at work. And the rest of the kids were at school.
I can remember being in an aisle, looking at can goods with her. Peas. And then, all of a sudden, she wasn’t there. And as I stepped around into the main cross aisle, a man in a tan overcoat and hat, grabbed my arm, and forcefully started to lead me out of the store.
We were moving fast, and in front of the cash registers. I can see the line of parked carts passing by quickly. I started screaming out, at the top of my lungs. I was calling out for my Mom. Crying and screaming. As we got to the entrance, I saw a handrail in between the entrance and exit doors. I can remember trying to grab it, and not getting a good hold because of my mitten. But it was enough of an effort to jerk me.
And then I don’t remember what happened next. I just don’t know. Only that within a few moments, I was back with my Mom, and we were both very upset. She told me the man probably had just made some kind of mistake. I am guessing she was trying to dismiss a tremendous fear, rising up from deep within. Looking back, I know he intended to take me away.
And my life could have turned out much differently, you see.
There is my thanks. My gratitude.
Our lives may not be perfect. Or maybe our lives are. However we view them, we are here, because every single second of our living moments, brought us to this point. And when we think of the profound and spectacular miracle of that, it becomes easy to say thanks. Thanks to your God, to the Universe, or to no one. Just a simple thanks, that we are here.
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop
“I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.” – Confucius
“It’s no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
(Writer’s Note: If I have recounted this story before, my apologies. After writing this thing for ten years, I am certain I have repeated myself before. Before.)