Guest Column: “Thank heavens for small mercies”

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I am reminded these days of similar troublesome days in our lives when the smallest of gestures, of helpfulness, respect, or friendliness helped us survive. I treasure these gifts of help as “thanks for small mercies.”

One day, the battery died on our vehicle on terribly busy and heavily traveled I-25 in Denver. Our funds were extremely limited so I knew a repair bill would be problematic. My husband was over an hour away. Along came a guardian angel in the form of a man who was panhandling for money. He helped me push the car to a safer place and stayed with me while awaiting the arrival of Jay to tow the vehicle. 

Who would think a homeless person, desperate for money, would stop to help me? But he did and I will never forget his unselfish assistance. We gave him all the cash we had in our wallets that was not much and this honorable man nearly declined our small thank you. That is what I mean by small mercies.

These days, I am grateful when a person holds the door open at the post office. Meeker may consider this gesture the norm, but in my experience, it is a rare, thoughtful way to reach out to the next person whether you know them or not.

I appreciate people referring to me as “Miz Kaye” which I consider an honorific of great esteem. If you called me Mrs. Sullivan, I would think you would be relating to my long-gone mother-in-law or calling from the school to discuss one of my son’s latest misbehaviors. 

Like Julie Andrews singing “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” from the “Sound of Music” I too enjoy many simple things.

I am happy for any blooming flower in my yard and every growing plant. I enjoy the labor of attempting to bring them to life and when they finally arrive, I am grateful for the joy the plants give me.

When our children call, I appreciate the time they share with me.  Now that our oldest grandchild can speak so well, we can chat with him too and listen to younger brother coo. How great is that?

Thankfully, I can talk to my Mother who is still in extreme isolation in a retirement home plus I can call my siblings any time. Cell phones with no long-distance charges are also a blessing.

I am thankful for music, playing my piano again and recording music for the Methodist Church services. Peace and serenity surround me when I play my piano.

Having sufficient food is also a blessing. Sometimes our menus are a weird mixture of whatever is in our cupboards, but we have food in a time when I know many do not.

I am happy for sunshine, for the beauty of our earth, for living in ever-gorgeous Colorado. Summer time is always joyous to me even if I am just enjoying it in our backyard.

In these very tough days, I hope you too feel grateful for the smallest of joys, thoughtfulness, beauty, and any little thing that gives you courage and hope. 

By KAYE SULLIVAN | Special to the Herald Times

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