It was Tuesday.
Nothing special happens on Tuesdays. Not usually.
But this past Tuesday, on my way home from teaching a couple of watercolor classes at a nearby college community outreach center, I got a phone call that made this past Tuesday a special day.
The caller ID displayed a rather lengthy-looking number that I didn't recognize at first glance. Telemarketers call at the most random times, don't they? A closer look revealed the caller was from Hawaii. I happily answered, knowing it was my (favorite) cousin. Now, I'm not sure he would want me to publicly state his name on the internet. You know, because so many people read my blog on a daily basis. NOT. But just to be safe, I'm going to call him Gene.
Gene's voice on the other end of my phone always sounds so comforting, happy, and a little smart-assy (because he's the baby of the family) all at the same time. He's witty, fun, sensitive, level-headed, and handsome. His wife and children are the same. Every Christmas card shows a sweet family, with each member having a twinkle in his/her eye.
The last time I saw Gene was maybe five or six years ago. My dad had just passed, and since I no longer had parents, I flew to Hawaii to witness the celebration of my aunt's and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. These are Gene's parents, and I'm grateful he and all the others took me in as if I was their own. 'Cuz I guess I sort of am.
This is what I want to tell you about my conversation with Gene on this particular Tuesday: Gene was genuinely happy that I am happy.
Big deal, huh?
It IS a big deal!
There are people out in this universe who are so busy being busy. They are working towards the next goal, the next purchase, the next experience, the next accomplishment, but they've slowly lost the ability to look at a fellow human being and give encouragement and love. They forgotten the joy in truly being happy for someone else's happiness.
Gene doesn't care to travel. Nor do I. We both are completely happy to remain in the settings we each call home. We love the people who surround us and the land that surrounds us. We love the hard work and the ability to relax on the same piece of land that brings a new sunrise and sunset every day. But usually when I tell someone I want to be home, I'm given a look. Not this time though. Gene assured me that even though we may not see each other often, he is thrilled to know that I am happy. Content with what is. Needing no more. Enjoying each second within the minute.
I've never had someone say that to me. "Hey, I'm just so happy that you're happy!" Who says something like this anymore? Gene does.
Here's how I'm going to tie my story into the subject of art. There are people out in the world who love my art. There are people out in the world who don't. I don't care who does and who doesn't. That isn't what keeps me going. It's those people (a handful of friends) who, regardless of how they feel about my paintings, take the time to say, "Hey, I'm just so happy that you're happy!", They are the ones who keep me going from day to day.
If you call yourself a friend of someone...
If you love someone...
If you care about someone...
If you're invested in someone...
Please learn to show that you are happy when they are. You don't have to agree with their style, but DO be happy when they are.
Thank you Gene, for being happy that I'm happy. And to all my sister-in-laws for sharing in my joy. My husband, my kids, my customers...