Gratitude

I had the strangest and most wonderful thing happen today.

A story about Gratitude
Feeling a bit sad I zipped over to the gas station to grab an afternoon sugar fix (dark chocolate...if you were curious).  My husband and I put an offer on a house Monday night, only to find out that the sellers accepted another offer. I was third in line holding my deliciously woeful Ritter Sport.  An older couple at the front were having some troubles with their credit card, and the man in line ahead of me was watching them with concern.  He was about 55, slender, dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt. The man in plaid was buying himself a quick lunch: a hotdog and coffee in his own travel mug.

After a moment the man in plaid went up and said he would pay for their order (it was fuel, some food and soda).  The couple were very thankful and said they were travelling and their credit card must have been put on hold because they forgot to call to say they were out of state.  When the man in plaid went to pay for his own order, the store clerk said to him with a smile, "I'm feeling lazy.  You can go on ahead. Have a nice day".  The man in plaid paused for a second, then motioned to his debit card to show he wanted to pay but the clerk insisted, "Have a great day, you're all set".The man in plaid smiled and said to me, "If you are willing to give to others, what you need will come back to you."  I smiled and paid for my chocolate bar.  He was right, I thought to myself.

The man in plaid and I made way for the exit and he must have sensed something because he continued on talking to me.  He told me that he lives in a small little house with his wife and daughter.  He said a number of years ago his son died very young because he was born with a bad heart, and they couldn't find a donor for him.  He said he used to care about the big house, the car, etc., until the day he lost his son.

He said to me,"After that it all changed. It's not about stuff.  You spend your whole young life trying to accumulate stuff.  I would have given away all of it just to have saved my son"   He then looked me in the eye and said, "I've had that same house for thirty years, and It's been more than enough for me and my family."
He smirked to himself, "When you want something you have to consider if it's a case of, 'look at me syndrome', or if it's something that you really need.

I was stunned.  There couldn't have been better timing for this man to have appeared.  I was almost speechless (and that doesn't happen often).I told him my story:  We fell in love with a house, and just found out our offer was not accepted. He looked at me an said,  "Maybe you just didn't need it".I realized I didn't.  It took a stranger to remind me that what I have is more than what I need

Life gets busy and we often forget how lucky we are.  Even on the not-so-great days.

He said to me:

"The happiest people are the ones who have gratitude for what they DO have.  Don't worry so much about the next thing.  Enjoy what you do have right now."


We chatted for a few moments longer, and I wished him a good day.  He said to me as he walked away, "I wish you a blessed life."

I felt like my guardian angel stopped by to chat.  And I never did end up eating that chocolate bar.
PersonalRachael Little