Three Shiny Marbles

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This morning, while listening to an audiobook by Anita Moorjani, I took a break and did a tour of one of my favorite Facebook Groups (Empath Wellbeing Protocol) and read a comment about three red marbles by Brad Parker that brought tears to my eyes.

Here is what Brad wrote:

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. Hmm mmm, 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. 

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!

********

Sometimes, I hate being on Facebook.

But after reading Brad’s moving story, I remember Little Danny’s empty pockets and how much it hurt not to have what other kids had.

Little Danny (1952)

Over the years, I have learned that miracles do happen – especially when living on the edge of an abyss.

I also learned never to give up!

Dedicated to Little Danny

I hope my stories are a gift to your head and heart.

 Hugs,

 Danny

 Click on this Index to view my 240+ stories.

Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

Wind Beneath My Wings – lyrics

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

It must have been cold there in my shadow
To never have sunlight on your face
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way
You always walked a step behind

So, I was the one with all the glory
While you were the one with all the strength
A beautiful face without a name for so long
A beautiful smile to hide the pain

Did you ever know that you’re my hero
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings

It might have appeared to go unnoticed
But I’ve got it all here in my heart
I want you to know I know the truth, of course, I know it
I would be nothing without you

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be
I could fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings

Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?
You’re everything, everything I wish I could be
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings
‘Cause you are the wind beneath my wings

Oh, the wind beneath my wings
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings
Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky
So high I almost touch the sky
Thank you, thank you
Thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings

Songwriters: Jeff Silbar / Larry Henley
Wind Beneath My Wings lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

The Rose – lyrics

Some say, love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say, love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say, love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say, love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed

It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying

That never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose

Songwriters: Mc Broom Amanda
The Rose lyrics © Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Third Story Music, Inc.

About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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By Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

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