Unexpected Gifts

What is happiness really? It seems to me that there are little doses of happiness that come into our lives pretty often and are either unnoticed or brushed off as nothing much. The Saturday after Thanksgiving I was sitting in a restaurant with a lady I met on the trip to Ireland back in 2011. We have kept in touch only a couple of times a year and one year slipped away when we did not meet or even talk. However, we had finished our dinners and were just catching up and sharing life incidents when a young female employee of the restaurant came up to us and asked if everything had been to our satisfaction and we said that it had. She then looked at me and said, “You look beautiful! You really do!” and when I thanked her for her gracious comment she said, “Really! You just pop!” Then she went to tend her other guests and I looked at my friend across the table and said, “Now that was a gift!” She agreed.

One evening as I was leaving the Estabrook swimming pool I got into a conversation with a lady named Sharon, who said she remembered me from Zumba. Earlier another former Zumba participant also spoke to me of remembering me from that class. Little bits of conversation that became a delightful surprise that tickled me, and I counted these chats as a source of happiness.

While I usually attend the eleven o’clock Mass at Saints Peter and Paul in Garfield Heights on Sundays, I sometimes take advantage of a more convenient service at Saint Monica’s as I did this past Monday, a Holy Day of Obligation. As I was leaving the church I heard someone call “Rosemarie!” and when I turned to see who called me I found a cute lady with curly hair wearing a red faux fur coat. Several years ago she and her friend, Theresa were at a spaghetti dinner at St. Monica’s school cafeteria and since I was alone I asked if I might sit with them and they agreed. We spent the meal getting acquainted. Over the years I’ve often seen them sitting in their usual place but we haven’t talked in a long time. So here she was looking easily thirty pounds thinner and just as energetic as could be and I could not remember her name. She said she often tells her friend, “There’s Rosemarie!” I wished her Merry Christmas and she wished me the same. Heading to my car I saw them again in a lovely SUV Theresa was driving and had apparently gone ahead to warm up. That incident brought a smile to my face as I was fading into my dream world that night and again as often as the thought surfaced.

The little joys that come along unexpectedly contribute in big ways toward my being content with my life even though I would not fit into any official list of highly successful or important people.

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