The news had spread wildly on social media and all across local news stations. Videos of the storm displayed something you would expect from a movie. In a mere five minutes, golf ball sized hail destroyed dozens of businesses and hundreds of cars. The highway was scattered with stranded motorists, unable to drive away in their glass shattered vehicles. An eerie calm surrounded them, as the sun suddenly began to peek back out from behind the clouds.
As I looked out my window, I felt horrible for my unfortunate neighbors who had been in the storm’s quick path. I was lucky; instead of stopping at Target as planned, I decided to head straight home. Soon after, the hail hit.
Then I took notice to Joe, our 89 year old neighbor. He stood next to his white Oldsmobile, first gazing at his totaled car and then beginning to attach a trash bag to the back window.
I stood for a moment, in complete shock of what I was seeing. There he was, standing in front of his useless car and trying to tape it back together…and he was smiling. Smiling.
I quickly threw on some clothes and grabbed one of my garment covers, which seemed like a far better option than the trash bag Joe was trying to use. Together we brushed off a bit more glass and taped the bag to cover the damage.
I said to him, “Joe, you are the happiest person in the world every time we see you. Even now, during a terrible situation, a smile is spread across your face”.
Joe turned to me and told me of a time, nearly 70 years ago, when he had come from work and found his wife sobbing in the corner. Barely able to get her words together, she explained that she had wrecked his car, apologizing profusely. He asked her if she or anyone else had been hurt. When she replied no, he looked her in the eyes and smiled at her. He explained that cars and material items can be replaced, bad times come and go, but that as long as she was there and okay, that’s all that mattered.
Joe’s words have stuck with me since he spoke them to me just over a year ago. I hope they help give you a new perspective.