RED MARBLES …

*
Read to the end … it’s beautiful!

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early
potatoes.

I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature,
ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of
freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but
was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.

I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the
conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and
the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’
them peas. They sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry.
How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good.
Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?” asked Mr. Miller.

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those
peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it” said Miller.

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is
blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one
like this at home?” the store owner asked.

“Not zackley
but almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you
and next trip this way let me look at that red marble”
Mr. Miller told the boy.

“Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over
to help me.

With a smile she said, “There are two other boys like
him in our community, all three are in very poor
circumstances.

Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples,
tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with
their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he
doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with
a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one,
when they come on their next trip to the store.”

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with
this man.

A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never
forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their
bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the
previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit
some old friends in that Idaho community and while I
was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.

They were having his visitation that evening and
knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany
them.

Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to
meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer
whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men.
One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice
haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very
professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller,
standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the
cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the
casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by
one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own
warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each
left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I
was and reminded her of the story from those many
years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s
bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she
took my hand and led me to the casket.

“Those three young men who just left were the boys I
told you about. They just told me how they
appreciated the things Jim “traded” them.

Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about
color or size….they came to pay their debt.”

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this
world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would
consider himself the richest man in Idaho .”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers
of her deceased husband.

Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red
marbles.

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words,
but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the
breaths we take, but by the moments that take our
breath.


Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~

A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself.

An unexpected phone call from an old friend.

Green stoplights on your way to work.
The fastest line at the grocery store.

A good sing-along song on the radio.

Your keys found right where you left them.

Send this to the people you’ll never forget. I just
Did…

If you don’t send it to anyone, it means you are in
way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary
miracles when they occur.

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT
TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!

*

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