Sunday Post 99: A Simple Gesture

I’d dropped the kids off at school this morning at 7:55. Yesterday we drove up at 7:54 and the driveway was empty. Today traffic was backed up to Six Forks Road.

I had on my flannel pants, bedroom shoes and a navy fleece pullover. My daily home brewed Starbucks was in my Disney World Wilderness Lodge refillable mug.

For some reason, the radio was off. On the drive back to the house, I was sort of lost in thought, dreading a couple of mandatory meetings I was facing later in the day. Not the ones with close coworkers, the ones with folks I didn’t know very well – wondering how they would respond to my proposals, wondering if conversation would be easy or forced.

As I rounded Brooks Avenue and breezed by the park, I noticed an elderly woman walking briskly and close to the curb. She was wearing a down filled white parka, the hood covering most of her gray hair. There was fur framing her face, her wire spectacles allowed her bright eyes to shine through.

As I neared the point where our morning paths would cross, I had a great view of her face. Her plump cheeks were rosy and her lips were upward. The expression on her face told me she was a deeply happy person. As I drove by, her eyebrows raised as did her right hand. Her body language shouted, “Be happy too!”

I wonder if she intended for her simple, single gesture to make such an impression on me. I’m guessing she does that to everyone. Why don’t I?

Leave a comment


  1. Aunt Susan

     /  November 25, 2012

    I think you do, but just don’t realize it! It’s okay to be sad or angry, you just aren’t as much as you think.

  2. Brenda Lee

     /  November 25, 2012

    Great story, but you surprised me with your final statement. I have not seen you in a long time, but when I did see you, on a regular basis, you were ALWAYS happy and optimistic – even your sarcasm brought a smile. You used silly lunch boxes and wore bow ties — you were the only normal person I knew who could pull those things off and to this day, both the memory of the lunch box and your bow ties make me smile. You are an eternally optimistic person and writing these stories (blogs, whatever you want to call them) is your way of bringing emotion to our rather mundane lives. I love to read your stories and always walk away thinking about what you wrote — that is a gift, longer lasting than the smiling old woman… hers was a fleeting emotion, you create lasting ones. Not really my place to say this because you are entitled to feel what you feel, but I would challenge you to not be so hard on yourself. 🙂

    • Danny Tanner

       /  November 25, 2012

      I don’t take the time often enough. I’m so focused and busy – feels like I don’t share the joy as some people do. You know, the ones who just ooze it.

  3. Isn’t it crazy the BIG life reminders we get from perfect strangers?

  4. Susan Hessen

     /  November 26, 2012

    I wish I took the time to comment on each and every post but please know that your sharing brings joy and sometimes a tear to so many.Simple gestures make significant differences and you have made a significant difference in all our lives by sharing your stories. Many blessings to you and your family this holiday season !!!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  November 26, 2012

      thank you – great motivation to keep on writing, even when I’m tired.

  5. Great reminder for us all! Sounds like God knew who to put in your path that day!


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