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Today was a relatively somber day in Atlanta-drastically contradicting the days of yester-weeks which were bright, hot, and attractive to my skin.  Today was muggy and dark and gloomy which coincidentally described my sub-conscience although I had not realized that until I had a need to go to Target for a few toiletries and some pineapple juice to make my pineapple upside down cake martini-a great nightcap to my already long and sober day.  That’s all I wanted: body wash, lotion and pineapple juice.   I parked my car in Target’s relatively empty and wet parking lot and made my way to the door when I saw this handicapped gentleman slowly making his way to the electronic doors by way of a walker.  He was young and his journey did not seem painstaking.  His feet were turned outward as to suggest he had been born with a disability which he had grown to accept and therefore his demeanor read,” when I make it to the door, with only the use of this walker and no one else, I will make it to the door so please don’t rush my journey”.  Because this young man looked so comfortable with his lifelong situation there was no need for me to be saddened by his plight (as we all are crippled in this world one way or another-some unseen) so I gave no hand to help him along or no exhalation as to suggest he was holding up my day, but rather I smiled and said “hello” to him as I used the manual doors to walk into Target instead of the automatic doors I normally use when entering the store, without interrupting either of our day with our respective disabilities.  The young man stopped slightly and his face lit up as he smiled brightly and said hello back to me which was the most genuine reaction I had seen from my smile and my hello in a very long time.  I gave a smile back to him and continued to walk through the second set of doors, turned a corner and began to cry.  I don’t know if my hello made this man’s day, but I can definitely say that his reaction absolutely made mine.  It was the purity without expectation that came across his face when he reciprocated my greeting that touched my heart and made me realize how absolutely sad I really was in that moment.  In that moment I felt like I let go of my own selfishness in trying to find my own happiness to make someone else smile and God granted me a moment to heal just a little.  I shed a tear through every aisle I walked in Target and at every keystroke of this message because that man showed me how to smile through my circumstance.  Although I have heard the song a half a dozen times from Kirk Franklin you can never know how to smile through it all until smiling is your only option because although things may seem bad for you they are rarely unbearable.  I saw the young man again as I was wiping silent tears and making my way to the checkout and this time I said nothing as I walked by, but if he had asked me if I had everything I needed from my trip to Target today I would have turned to him and told him I could definitely use a hug.

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