Friday, November 16, 2012

A Mystery Miracle


Two years ago, around Christmas time, my father lost his wife. My sister wanted to gift him with a clean house, but was unable to make it in to the area. I had been staying with another sister, and had left the day before, but ended up swinging by an old friend's house and spending the night. The next morning, on my drive out of town, I thought, "Hey! Maybe I can help!"

I cruised over to what was now a reluctant bachelor pad and found that a hurricane — or worse — must have passed through the house; but no, it was just the result of two men living on their own, my dad and my step brother. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work and six hours later the place was polished to a high shine. I threw some mix into the bread maker and left a note from my sister, completely neglecting to inform her that I had "delivered" her gift, no one the wiser for my presence.

Photo credit: aussiegall / Foter.com / CC BY
A few hours later, I got a text that said: "How does dad turn off the bread maker!" I smiled and played ignorant; it was, after all, someone else's gift. Other messages came: "Who did this?" "I thought she was out of town?" — and then from my dad, "How did she get here, clean my house, and get back home so fast?" Other family members were indignant that she had never shown for the family party, being in town after all!

These were delicious morsels to be relished, and it was a befuddling mystery that remained unsolved... that is, until this day.

Once again, I decided my dad could use a little help in his domestic aesthetics. So I snuck into his house and did my thing — this time with rubber gloves in tact — with the full intent of leaving another scandal-mongering note from the self-same sister; but my plans were foiled: I was caught by my step-brother.


An awkward moment lingered between us before he started talking about his hair, which apparently hadn't been cut in the two years since the passing of his mother. I went back to my scrubbing while he continued to elaborate on the status of his matted tangles. When I finally realized he was asking my opinion, I looked up from my foaming, bubbly position to find that the situation was, indeed, beyond repair. 

Photo credit: striatic / Foter.com / CC BY
Something about his expression prompted me to inquire — rather timidly — if he would like me to cut his hair. Two minutes later I was holding the shears, hoping beyond hope that I wouldn't cause any royal damage, as I was hardly a master stylist. Luckily, he had a thick nimbus that hid most of my mistakes.

It was a day of cleansing indeed. A change overcame my estranged brother and a renewed feeling settled over us. It felt like a new beginning for him. His grief had swallowed him whole, and in the shedding of that frizzy afro, I watched him emerge as if from a deep pit. I know it will be a long road for him, but how grateful I am that I took the time from my busy do-gooding schedule to notice where the real service needed to be performed.

In life, people are what matter most, not clever stories for my blog: people. There were no texts to be reveled, or demands about the bread machine, but instead a quiet peace that made the subsequent cleansing all the more enjoyable. I didn't get to finish everything on my list, because, thankfully, it was usurped by the most important task of all: serving our fellow man.

Later that night, I got a text: "I knew it was you!"

Please join me in spreading joy this holiday season; I may have started prematurely, but it's never too early to indulge in a bit of fairy mischief. You are welcome to share your adventures in the comments section below and inspire others to action.

All Best until Next Time,

Eliott

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