Acts of kindness are gifts. As has been noted, I'm not exactly appearance oriented but I did notice my hair had taken on the look of a full-blown dandelion and needed a trim. Candy, owner-operator of Shear Serenity, is used to my erratic ways and cries of "Save me!" after a long absence. She gave me the last appointment of the day and then invited me to have a glass of wine and a chat that was more than the pleasantries of hairdresser and client. That was a gift of time and friendship and was thoroughly enjoyed.
Leaving her shop and ready to get in the truck, I noticed a car with several young men a short distance away and was taken aback when one of them called out to me. "You have yourself a fine rest of the day, Ma'am!" Not used to being addressed in such a way by strangers, I assumed they were all just in high spirits and feeling good, so yelled back, "And I hope you have one, too!" I thought no more of it and got into the truck, and so was startled when the man who had spoken appeared at my window. "You don't remember me, do you?" I admitted I did not, frantically searching my mental files for an identity. "I used to milk your goats," he said. Again, I could not make a connection. I would have remembered a tall, good-looking, clean-cut boy-man such as he. "I'm Stephen!" Oh good grief, he had been a little boy when he came with his mother to my farm and went with me down to the barn and I'd seen him only a few times since then and that was years ago. I got out of the truck and this gentle soul gave me a big hug and we talked for a short while. He's almost out of high school now. His friends had waited patiently for him, and we parted ways. One, I was surprised that he would recognize me and remember what was an insignificant moment, and (2) that a teenager would take the time to speak to an old lady (I know; that was a judgement call I had no right to make). I'm still smiling.
I hurried through a few errands, worried about leaving Pearl and wanting to get home. Leaving groceries on the counter, I gathered her up and sat again with her on my lap. She had waited for me. Pearl took her last breaths as I stroked her soft fur...and it was done. I called Bessie Anne over to say goodbye. I didn't want her to think Pearl had simply vanished as Frank had. Animals also grieve at a loss and they understand death. Bess nosed her all over and then turned away. The rest of the evening Bessie sat in my lap as if to fill that empty place.
It was a day full of gifts. It was a good day.