Wednesday, June 6, 2012

brother Sam. a story of a lifetime

June 4th, 2012.

This is the date I actually got to sit down with a great man. He's knows as "brother Sam" and brings bagels to our friends' house. He knows they give the bagels to the people in church. Just one glance, and I'm impressed by him. His way of shaking my hand, and the keen look reveal a strong and yet gentle man.  My husband and I stood there, in our friends' yard, and listened his life story for 3 hours. I listened how he met his wife, how they both got saved, how they started their life together. I was amazed to find out that, at 16 years old he worked every day, 45 minutes in school's cafeteria to earn $4 in one month (can you imagine that!?) in order for his mom to keep their washing machine.

"It's nothing the same when your wife is not here anymore". He took another bite from his slice of bread and continued. " Wives have a lot of work. She cleans, she cooks, she irons. Now I have to do it all by myself. No ironing. I don't do any ironing." He turns over to my husband, pointing to me "Take care of her, ok?". His hands are crooked from all the work he's been doing all his life. Still, his strength is so visible, almost tangible. "If I move here, I'm gonna help you with things near the house" said my husband in his broken English. 
The man next to him responded in an almost imperative way: "You help Ilie!" I couldn't believe this white haired man, with strong arms and a face that betrays a handsome man in his younger years that's sitting in front of me, at 98 years old, talking as if he's the strongest man on the earth. I couldn't understand his care for others. This lonely man, longing for the love of other people, puts others before him. I take a glimpse at him and I wish his wisdom could be contagious. At my husband's attempt to make him understand his intention, thinking he didn't hear well, he said 2nd time, more imperatively: "You help Ilie!"

I glance at my husband. He's puzzled, but his eyes betray his admiration for brother Sam. I look back at our guest and I think how lucky I am to stay in front of him and hear a drop of his wisdom.

That Sunday, I didn't take a nap (as I usually do). But I learned that there is no wisdom greater than kindness