Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Georgia sunshine, in Tallahassee

This is my little grandaughter, Georgia. She calls herself Georgie and she calls me Pop. She is one of five little grandchildren that my wife, Nancy, and I have together. Her Mother, Beth, has always been a bright, sweet and loving daughter to us. Georgia has two older sisters who have minds of their own. I am not saying that Georgia is any different.
Nancy recently had to go see a vitreoretinologist. The purpose was to have a needle inserted into her eyeball and deliver opthamologic grade steroids into her retina. I have always used an extreme, falacious example of deciding to give up golf and taking up inserting needles in my eye. The punch line on that declarative was that activity would be preferable to playing golf, at the level I play it. Well little did I know that Nancy would actually have to have that done one day.
Georgia went with us on this particular day as her Mother was volunteering in Kate's, her 5 year old's, classroom. Georgia and I played in the car. We listened to every song I could find on various CDs, including Ray Charles' version of Georgia. She obviously claims that song to be about her. After all the games I could come up with over an hour of waiting she decided that she wanted to see her Nana.
As it had been so long in the waiting I acquiesced to her demands. It is much easier that way, I am told. It was almost noon and the physician doing the procedure had to come into the office
in order to see Nancy. The waiting room was bare and this little imp burst through the front door and queried the receptionist, " Where's my Nannie?" The receptionist immediately brightened and smiled, Georgia has that effect on most anyone she meets, and asked her what her Nannie's name was. Georgia said, "Nannie, Nannie !". I quietly told the receptionist that this was Mrs. Vass' grand daughter.
The receptionist said to her, " Come with me and we will find your Nannie." She happened to be in the dark waiting area midstream in her first of 12 episodes of this procedure. As Georgia entered the room she saw her Nana. She squealed with delight and ran across the room yelling, "Nannie, Nannie." She climbed up on her lap and just hugged her for several seconds. I think she sensed that her Nana was doing something that was not terribly pleasant. Nana was just so happy and was warmed by Georgia's attention that day. I am sure that it had to have made the experience more bearable.
Georgia taught me a lesson. Of course I am not a cute little 3 year old girl. I am an overweight 65 year old man. The lesson is to try your best to put a little sunshine into other people's lives. It is so easy to get grumpy, cynical and mean. On the other hand, a kind gesture to anyone you encounter. Some pointless conversation to a person you pass on the way. A random note expressing concern or friendship to a person you have lost contact with. A random phone call to someone who is alone. All of these acts have an enormous effect on other people.
Something we ought to think about as we head into this very difficult and lonely time of the year for some people. The best gifts do not come from Macy's. They come from the act of giving a little of your time to someone who needs it.

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