Serenity now …

It was a wonderfully cool, nearly cold, evening at The Waterfront. Lisa and all of the boys (including Zachary) were at Wendy’s for dinner and I walked 8th Avenue to Amity Street and into the night. The hustle and bustle of the evening madness was just getting underway as I strolled over to the Starbucks in Town Center. Since it was so late I figured I had better get a decaf, then found an empty bench on the Barnes & Noble side of the main square.

As throngs of people made their way to the Starbucks or paused in the square to look at the holiday light displays, I began thinking about how lucky I was. I have a lot to share with everyone about the events of the last few months — leaving Duquesne, getting the position at Point Park, etc. — and hope to fill in all of the details soon.

When I walked into the Starbucks I noticed a woman sitting close to the door with a young girl in what I at first thought was an elaborate stroller. While I sipped my coffee and watched everyone weave their way through the night, the woman walked past me and I could tell the stroller was actually a wheelchair. The young girl was asleep by now and slumped over in the chair. I felt even more fortunate that all of my children are healthy and for the most part happy. I thought, if I could so anything at all to help that girl, would I? If I were to hit the Powerball, for instance, would I forfeit all of it to help her get out of that chair and live a life I hope my sons will live?

Shortly after the woman and girl passed, there was a young child walking around the grass and staring at all of the ornaments and decorations. The boy’s mother was following him around and in typical parent fashion trying to nudge and direct him one way or another. She kept repeating what I thought was his name — it sounded like “Chet” — but I could tell later that she did not speak English and might have been saying “nyet” or something similar. He paused at one point and stared at me from behind a large gold star that was dotted with holiday lights. He smiled and waved and said a few words. I have no idea what he might have been trying to say, but the smile was so genuine and innocent, it broke all language barriers. I wish I could have given him a hug, but could only respond with a smile and wave of my own. Overall a nice collection of memories.

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