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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No time to be sorry.

This wasn't the post I had planned to write. But it was one of those instances where I felt I really should get this recorded before I forgot what actually happened. I wanted to keep a little of the magic before I lost it in the normal course of forgetting things.

I was standing in line at the bank yesterday, holding a plain white envelope with a check in it. I hadn't looked at the check, but it was one I was expecting since I had apparently overpaid some taxes back in 2004.

I didn't open the envelope before I got to the bank, knowing that this money would really help me right now, and feeling like I didn't need to see the amount. I didn't want to spoil it. I felt so relieved to be able to deposit some money into my account.

As I was waiting in line, the man was sitting near the entry way, waiting for someone. He looked at my shoes, little faux patent leather flats with buckles, and said, "I wish I had someone who would run up to me with a nice pair of shoes like that."

I half-listened to him, as I opened the envelope to get the check ready for the teller. I think I smiled at him distractedly, not really listening. He repeated his comment, as I looked at the check, my heart sinking.

The check was for $8.33. Not even enough to buy dinner with the friends I was meeting. I was glad I was wearing my big black sunglasses. They hide a lot (tears, frustration) and I was hoping that the disappointment from receiving this dinky check was also hidden by the lenses. All my anticipated relief had instantly been dashed to pieces.

The man said to me, "I don't have anybody."

Then I heard him and snapped out of my stupor. "I'm sorry to hear that," I said to him.

Then he smiled, revealing a few missing teeth, and said, "Don't ever say you're sorry. Life's too short to be sorry. You're too pretty to be sorry."

And then the teller called me, as I had a lump in my throat, to cash that silly little check.


Outside the bank, I saw the man again, this time walking with a woman who he introduced as his sister. He said to me, laughingly, "So, you're following me, now?"

I said, Yes, because you give such good advice. I'm going to listen to what you said and live by it if I can.

Then he stuck out his hand to introduce himself. "I'm Jomo," he smiled again and shook my hand with a firm, warm grip.

"I'm Julie."

Then he pointed at the camera hanging around my neck, and made an imaginary movement with his hands, as if to fine tune a lens. "Stay focused," he said, laughing.

We parted ways at the corner, after I asked Jomo if I could take his photo to remember him by. He wished me well, and I was glad for the $8.33, and the advice that came unasked for but was worth so much more.


~K October 6, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

Jules I don't even know what to say> i know you don't like wearing the superhero cape, and I know you do what you do because it is who you are. However, hon it is posts like this that give me faith in humanity. It is posts like this that make me want to be a better person

Sue October 7, 2009 at 12:07 AM  

We all need a little Jomo in our lives sometimes, just to remind us to take note of the small things!! Great post, I'm glad you took time to shake his hand!

Sue x

Humble Magnificent October 7, 2009 at 1:35 AM  

Once again your post brings a tear to my eyes and makes me remember to be grateful for what I've got. Sometimes it can be hard to think of the bigger picture of all good things we have and so easy to become focused on the smaller more intense picture of the everyday worries and troubles.
Sending you positive thoughts from across the ocean and sincerely hoping things pick up for you.

Angela October 7, 2009 at 2:28 AM  

Wow, that's beautiful. I hope experiences like this crop up for me when I need them.... it's so easy to get discouraged but then some little thing reminds us how how blessed we really are!
Thankyou for sharing this! :)


glnroz October 7, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

jimmity gee wheez. You can wrench so much from a simple encounter that it makes one want to pay greater attention.. thnx.

smith kaich jones October 7, 2009 at 8:10 AM  

The first blog I read this morning. Thank you - now my day starts with this as my mantra.

:) Debi

urbaNiche October 7, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

thank you for sharing your profound thoughts on this very inspiring experience.
its interesting how our mental state and our surroundings are so intrinsically connected!

good luck

shabby girl October 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

Little snippets of wisdom can come from anywhere, anytime. If we only listen.

J9 October 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Jomo was there when you needed him, just like you are there for people every day.

Char October 7, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

a good reminder

tree October 7, 2009 at 10:15 AM  

Jomo was your guardian angel! I will try to remember that as well. Thank you for sharing your story!

A Fitness Minute with Pat Anderson October 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

It's amazing how we get the messages we need at a time when we need them the most. Keep listening...

Christian Cagigal October 7, 2009 at 3:57 PM  


Anonymous October 7, 2009 at 4:42 PM  

Tango B, Have you ever considered selling some of your photos on your website? They're pretty amazing!

BeachILike October 7, 2009 at 5:37 PM  

It is beautiful thought of you, and of him too.

Life is too short to be sorry. That 8 dollars is worth more than its amount now.

My Bangkok Through My Eyes!
You got a Posty: I want to give 15 postcards :)

Dina October 7, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

In situations like these (usually afterwards when I'm thinking about it) I'm reminded of the Bible verse that says how we entertain angels unaware.