This past week I received an intrinsically valuable gift -- one I have been itching for for years -- tangible access to patience, integrity and grace. Periodically like most of us I am decent at each of these virtues. Like an actor learning a new stunt I am temporarily mesmerized by the possibility of growth and hope that these traits can sink into my soul when I decide to practice them.
I dropped my phone (for the 17th time). It finally shattered into little sparkling glass bits. The phone store fellow gave me a new phone, erased my life and promised when I got home it would all be restored. It wasn't. So out went my life in a matter of a few seconds.
Shock got me through the first hour. A glass of wine got me through the second. Two online, on-the-phone support folks got me through the next hour. A "Sorry for your trouble" and a "Good night, ma'am" was what I had left before I turned the lights out for the night.
A new day and the disaster hits me immediately, how am I going to live my life with out my external brain working for me? I needed help and I needed hope.
Enter stage left -- the hero -- Ricky. Everyone who calls on Ricky is cranky. Since our phones hold our memories, our stories, our lives, the loss is acute when the data drifts off into the abyss.
Our hero immediately calms the scene down with an apology and a vow to do his very best to make the day "turn into an amazing one for you, ma'am." He wields his knightly weapons with ease -- his mind and his talent for techie stuff -- and he immediately shows me how to do a double up back up and secure my future data with a few settings and drops the charges I was incurring for extra storage I didn't need (who sold that to me ?).
Ricky dropped right into my heart when he said it brings him joy when he can teach people how to use their devices to better their lives and especially how to back that all up. After yet another hour with my man and his chat with the engineers-in-the-sky that can find missing data like my dog can find a stray Pop-Tart on Burnside, it looks like my data will end up on the Most Wanted List.
I have one more shot at the gold. He asks me to give him a day to sort out the ways and means of this long-shot option. He calls the next afternoon and leaves a message. The news isn't good or he would have left it. I feel the unhinge coming.
Ricky is clearly empathetic to the unrecoverable loss of information. I am sad and I start to feel really sad and I well up. I am feeling more of a loss that this is the end of the Ricky and Kay show. My grief from the data loss is fading. If Ricky had been dismissive, my grief would have increased dramatically. He is just such a delightful young man. I like that Ricky loves his gal, his truck, his house and his job. He knows how fortunate he is to be this damn happy. He says he wanted this to be a happily ever after story for me but he has nothing more he can do and he wanted me to know how sorry he is.
He is a unique man and I ask him how he became so kind and wise. He says, "We all just want to be heard, so I listen." I ask him for more, I want more of how he is the lovely way he is. He shares that he began to fall in love and then immediately lost his job and EVERYTHING. He was homeless and living in his truck. His gal stayed by his side. He got this job. He's getting married and they just purchased their first home. He feels he was blessed with a miracle.
Ricky lived the melody of a country western song. He lost his job. He slept in his truck. Lost his cash reserves. "Nothing gets you closer to feeling God than sleeping in the bed of your pick up," Ricky shares with me.
I feel shame for all of the moments I had not been patient and kind when I could have. Now, I ask myself "What would Ricky do?" when I feel a reaction is bubbling up inside of me. His gratitude is contagious.
My little shattered screen turned into a blessing. I virtually met a man that inspires me to choose thanks nearly always rather than angst.