Kelly woke up just as angry as she had been when she fell asleep.
She rolled over and, letting out a sigh of relief, felt glad that her husband had already gotten up. Honestly, she didn’t want to see his face right now.
Putting on her favourite pink slippers, she made her way downstairs and found Richard sitting at the breakfast table, facing in her direction.
“Damn him and his handsome eyes. I need to stay strong on this one,” Kelly thought to herself.
Then she noticed it…
Face down on the placemat in front of her usual seat.
She didn’t need to read it to know what it said.
Something undoubtedly sweet, honest, and full of heart. The only way Richard knew how to write when he wrote her notes.
“I know I was a stubborn ass last night, and I’m sorry.”
Ugh. His voice. Her eyes teared up ever so slightly, and she immediately softened, despite her (equally stubborn) resolve.
“I know that I hold on to these positions, even when what we’re fighting about doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. I just get scared when we fight and so I clam up. It’s still hard for me sometimes to believe that you’re with me, and so when we fight I fear losing you. I know it’s irrational… and I’m not proud of how I respond, but I’m doing my best. And… well, I’m sorry. And I love you. And I hope that you can keep this letter close for when we have these little squabbles.”
She walked over to him, looked into his gorgeous brown eyes, and put her hand on his cheek.
Richard stood up and kissed Kelly on the forehead. Forehead kisses have a way of dissolving the last of any argument.
She picked up her card, put it in her back pocket, and took a deep breath in through her nose as she soaked up this moment of tenderness. Just like the thousands of other beautiful moments that made up their now more than ten year marriage.
Little did she know, had Richard not swallowed his pride, and chosen to lean in to vulnerably expressing what was true for him, someone would have died that day. In fact, two lives would have been lost.
If Richard had clung to his ego and kept his stubborn mouth shut, Kelly would have been out the door six minutes earlier than she actually left, and in a hell of a lot worse of a mood.
Kelly, with the unresolved argument and simmering anger towards her husband weighing heavily on her, would have been frustrated by the traffic jam that she encountered at 46th and Oak and taken an alternative route.
Taking that alternative route, that slowed her down even more than it would have had she stayed put, would have Kelly cross paths with Diego.
If Richard had stayed stuck in his stubborn ways, Kelly would have honked at Diego and screamed at him (from within the safety of her own car) with such ferocity that it would shake him to the core.
Diego would then have been so affected by Kelly’s road rage that he would forget to pick up his girlfriend’s lunch on his way to visiting her at her on-call shift at St. James Hospital.
Normally, that wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, but Diego’s girlfriend (Alice, a surgeon) hadn’t eaten yet that morning, and the 45 minute delay in her eating anything would affect her cognition just enough so that she would make a small error in judgment during her shift.
That error in judgement would set off a chain of events that caused a kidney donor (and the recipient of said kidney) to pass away, despite both of them being in relatively good health for both being in their early 60’s.
But the good news is that none of this happened. Everything would have unfolded this way if Richard had continued to cling to his stubborn position… but he didn’t.
He leaned into love.
He told Kelly that he was sorry. He admitted that he had been a jerk to her because, in truth, he was actually afraid. He acknowledged the deeper truth about what their argument was actually about, and now two people across town at St. James Hospital both still have their lives to show for it.
This is all it takes to change the world for the better.
In one translation of the Bible we hear these words, “God sees even the sparrow’s fall.”
Every act counts. Whether you make your decisions from a place of love or from a place of fear is always felt.
It all helps.
Every last loving intention adds to the world.
Even on your most difficult days…
I hope you never forget this.