I stepped into the lobby of my apartment house, the magnificent clear and summery blue sky behind me. My eyes blinked, adjusting to the sudden darkness of the indoors.
I spotted an elderly gentleman, leaning on a cane, frail looking but with eyes wide open, as if awaiting the adventure of a new day. We have become friendly through the almost daily contact in the small exercise room in the basement of the apartment building. He rides the exercise bicycle to keep himself fit.
“Good morning, Irving. Where are you off to today?” I asked.
With large eyes twinkling good-naturedly, he replied: “Where else? The doctor needs some money so I‘m paying him a visit.!” We chuckled and shared a few more cordialities, then said goodbye. His wife acknowledging my presence by adding-“Where do you think we’re going?” her voice slightly aggravated but resigned.
I continued to the elevator. How sad-what a way to spend one’s final days-going to doctors!
A moment later it occurred to me that Irving has so much for which to be grateful. He lives in a comfortable apartment house, together with a loving wife of 60 years; He is able to exercise each day, however limitedly; his mind is alert, and he continues to be sociable and friendly. His greatest gift perhaps is his ability to visit his doctor almost every week.
Is there not something in all our lives for which to be thankful? If not, then I fear a reality of utter despair.
I thank Irving for reminding again that the core of our lives pivots around the gifts that we have, if only we are blessed with the vision to see them.
I close with much gratitude for the sun that has been hiding but has finally decided to reappear and bless us with light and warmth.