Every now and then, I become slightly aware. As if I almost wake from my slumber, catching a glimpse of what lies behind that thin vail called 'reality'.
Once upon a time, I used to see more. A lot more. When I was a kid, I had several friends who I soon discovered noone else could see. It was troubling, and confusing, but at the same time strangely comforting. Mostly because they were there out of kindness. I could feel it, their good emanating.
Through your life, you meet good people. And you tend to stay with them. Or try to. Those people in which you sense good. Maybe beneath a rough surface. They may even try to hide it. Protect it. Shield it. But somehow, it still shines through. At least to you. And it disarms you.
Then there are those that are persistently kind. Unconditionally. Without reserve. Always forgiving. Always looking for the good in others. And finding it. Watching someone like that is to witness an amazing power. A true tour de force. Being able to withstand the withering touch of human callousness for a lifetime, and still maintaining such innocence, hope, and faith in mankind, is the greatest show of strength I know. It is humbling. And, for us who are not that strong, it can be infuriating. Realizing that you are not that strong. That by comparison, you are petty. And selfish. Greedy. And small.
But as the years go by. You understand more. You gain respect for people that walk humbly through life. With tenderness in their heart. Unshakably believing in the good in man. And you realize that you can not be resentful or envious of these beings, even if you doubt that you could ever be that strong. Instead of expecting, you accept. Embrace. You let yourself be inspired. And enjoy the time that you have together. This inestimable time, in the presence of angels.
Next week, one of these angels would have turned 92. Every now and then, I feel his presence. His warm smile, his kind touch. He seems to stay close to my daughter. Watching over her.
Happy birthday, dad.