We set the alarm for 5AM and went out to watch the meteor shower. There weren’t many, but that made us appreciate the ones we did see even more. A few magic swooshes in a nighttime filled with stars is totally worth a 10 minute shiver in the cold.

I tried to go back to sleep afterwards, but for some reason kept thinking of my parents. Maybe it was the encounter with the great beyond that made me miss them. I recalled the piece of paper that my dad had left for us at the back of my mom’s desk drawer that said, “To leave the world a bit better — to know that a life has been changed because you were there — this is to have succeeded.”

It made me think that I should share this story…

I’ve mentioned that we’re having our bathroom re-done and it’s taking longer than we anticipated. For the last several weeks our tile-installer has been “living” with us. He’s a guy in his 20’s, married with a 4 year old son. I’ll call him D. D is very talented, and precise and his work is wonderful. But due to some mis-communications along the line, there was a part that had to be re-done and which naturally took up some extra time. D’s boss was not happy with the situation and embarrassed him publicly about it.

I really have a problem with that sort of thing. D is unfailingly polite, considerate, on-time, a hard worker and doesn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect. No one does. The other day he was inquiring about my arm pain, and in the course of our conversation I asked him if it was possible for him to find another job where he wouldn’t have to put up with such a negative employer. He told me that he couldn’t because he wasn’t yet professionally licensed and has to support his family while he saves up to take the exam. He estimated that he still had three years to go before he would have saved enough.

I should add that D also volunteers as a coach for his town’s youth soccer team. Roy and I had been talking about what a good role model he is, and what a shame that he was getting berated every day by a man he believed he couldn’t get away from. We decided to ask D what would be involved for him to get his license, so that he could get a better job. He researched it, and told us the next day.

We decided to help him with the license fee, and arrange a pay-back schedule. His reaction made us feel like Santa Claus, expecially when he said that no one had ever done anything like this for him before. We told him that we like to build bridges for people who will one day turn around and build them for others.

For me, this is the ultimate high — as my father said, to know that a life has changed because you were there. In a universe full of stars, to find one and watch it race across the sky.

7 Responses to "One Star"

  1. Tina Clark

    October 24, 2007

    Absolutely beautiful. And not only is it a gift to D but I think about what a gift it is for his family, how far this kindness will reach. Not only do you change a life but you change the world and make it a better place. I’m leaving now to wipe my eyes. I don’t know D but I am so happy for him and his family. 🙂

  2. Liz Strauss

    October 31, 2007

    To change one person’s life . . . you’ve already done that. 🙂

  3. Helene

    November 1, 2007

    I love what you did for D. I try to listen and show attention to
    those around me and make them feel special daily.
    I have a project where I’ve helped a family work to change their
    life for the better, and it’s still in process. The appreciation I have received from them is awesome to me, because I think it’s only natural to want to help support others when they are stressed and down.
    You’re my role model,

  4. Pingback: Comments 441- 680+: 34 Links from Successful and Outstanding Bloggers - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once.

  5. sunny

    November 1, 2007

    Tina, Liz, Helene — Thanks so much. You have three of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. 🙂

  6. Frank Miller

    January 4, 2009

    Sunny it is wonderful that there are people like Roy and you that are so giving to try to help other people that are truly in need. The world needs more people like you guys.

  7. sunny

    January 4, 2009

    Thanks, Frank – so glad you’re our cousin! 🙂

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