Small things: A memory bank of love

Cindy ArpFeature

I was once asked if I would participate in a medical research project that required blood work. The laboratory was difficult to find and when I finally arrived, the waiting room was empty.

As I stood there, a white Labradoodle came trotting around the corner. He was absolutely delighted to see me and reared up, placing his paws on my shoulders. We were now eye-to-eye; we were both smiling. When I tried to sit down, he just knew I wanted him in my lap. That attempt failed but was so funny that I laughed out loud.

When the lab technician came and took my blood samples I was still laughing, and the needle didn’t hurt at all. The technician told me the dog’s name was Charlie, and to this day I wish that dog well.

Yesterday I was looking for a pillowcase when I ran across some hand-embroidered ones. Gifts from our 53-years-ago wedding, the pillowcases made me smile, remembering those dear church ladies who took time to buy plain pillowcases, decide on a design and colors, and from long practice stitched a loving gift that brings joy years later.

I was shopping the other day and purchased a bookcase, something too large for me to carry to my car. I was directed to a man across the room and when I got closer, I realized he was a former student. Not only was he a student, but he informed me his father had also been a student of mine. We laughed and I told him to tell his father I said hello and that this didn’t make me feel old (much).

Life’s jigsaw puzzle pieces, little things that knit together the infrequent big things. A smile, a show of courtesy, a fleeting recognition of our mutual humanity; all puzzle pieces that help one through life and give one the encouragement to help others.

We plan for the big things, using up some of our life’s allotted hours to produce the desired outcome, but some big things are unexpected; the death of a loved one or a heart-breaking situation.

When the sad big things occur, the joyful little things can help us survive. Little things give one a memory bank of love, understanding, joy, perhaps even peace. Those big things are important, but oh those little things.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

Cindy Arp, teacher/librarian, retired from Knox County Schools. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell.


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