Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Note

I boarded the airplane this morning hopeful the flight would not be full so I would be spared having to share my seat. Have you ever whispered that traveler's prayer? It was a good day in the airline world, the middle seat was left empty. My only seat partner was an older gentlemen. We politely nodded to one another and then each dove into our devices of distraction. Never a word was spoken as we traveled across the country. A couple of hours into our journey my fellow traveler reached down to get his bag from beneath the seat. He carefully unzipped it and reached inside, pulling our a slightly crumpled brown paper bag. He lowered the tray on the back of the seat and carefully began emptying the bag of its contents. There was a pickle, some carrots ...(Pause for confession--okay, I have to confess here that crunching drives me nuts, so I was really dreading what would inevitably follow, but I digress. Return to story.)...there was a sandwich and a pre-packaged dessert. I was just about to prepare myself for the crunchfest when he pulled one more thing from the bag. He began to carefully unfold a handwritten note. The paper was bright yellow with a sunshiny face in the corner. He slowly read it and then laid it on the tray. From my vantage point I could see only enough to read the words, "My dear sweet husband...". Suddenly my dread was gone and I was struck by the care with which his wife had packed his lunch. I began to ponder the kindness of that gesture. My thoughts roamed to the methodical crunching of carrots. I wondered how long they had been married. How long has she packed his lunches and lovingly tucked a note inside? Does he leave notes for her when he leaves town? As he finished his meal he placed the empty baggies in the paper sack to throw away, but the note he smoothed out and placed in his book to mark his page. A reminder of the love of his wife.
Such a simple gesture, that note; one that made a difference in his day and in the day of a nosy traveler. There is power in the little things! Unfortunately, the little things often get lost in the rush of accomplishing the big things! How sad is that? I read a quote not too long ago that said something along the lines of, "Pay attention to the little things for one day you will wake up and discover that they were the big things." A love note in a plain brown paper bag was a gentle reminder of that today.
What do you do to show love to those who mean the most to you? I find myself challenged to do a lot more of the little things! Turns out loving gestures can even drown out the noise of crunching of carrots.

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