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The Inspiration of Inspiration

Someone asked me last night if I was going to do any writing today. The weather was going to lend itself to a day inside with a coffee and a computer.


“I’m not sure,” I responded. “I’m looking for an inspiration.”


I had been spoiled lately. The past few weeks were kind of easy with a jolt coming from the passing of certain celebrities. Nothing like a major event of those types to make someone pause and reflect a little.


But no such “punch-in-the-face” events this week, so I felt stuck. And I was beginning to feel that my self-imposed schedule of a biweekly posting was in serious jeopardy.


So, with no writing topics to debate, we talked about the upcoming weekend. She was spending hers with her kids. The genuine joy in her voice of watching their soccer and wrestling matches was obvious. Back and forth from the field to the gym with not much time in-between to breathe, let alone eat and it all sounded like the best weekend possible. She would be working extra hard today so she could focus on the weekend activities. I couldn’t help thinking of the “my kids come first” mantra that we hear proclaimed from the mountaintop. Her kids come first.


I woke up in the middle of the night not only to the sound of some pretty harsh wind-driven rain but also to the blaring sirens of the local volunteer EMTs racing from their garage down the street. I groaned as I peered out the window, watching them race down the street, knowing that it would take me a while to fall asleep again. Lying down again I couldn’t help but think of these volunteers, racing in the cold rain at three o’clock in the morning, to help someone they didn’t know. I bet they would much rather be in bed in their own home. I

wondered if I would lose that bet.


Getting to the gym in the morning is hard enough but with interrupted sleep, it was bordering on unbearable. I forced myself as the guilt of not going would surely be worse. My usual spot on the cable pulley machine was open so I claimed it and set the weight. On the other side of the machine was this disabled kid who I’ve seen from time to time. He fastens this hook contraption to his right arm so he can grip the bar above and pull. Asking for help when he needs it, he never really seems to stay very long, but at least he goes is what I always conclude. Whenever I see him, I notice the hook and get back to my workout. This morning I noticed something else. A smile. Happiness and accomplishment at conquering twenty pounds. I don’t think he saw me staring as he pulled the hooked bar down to his chest. At least I hope he didn’t. I raised the weight on my end, took a deep breath, and pulled.


Today is Michael’s birthday. My middle son turns twenty and that alone still amazes me. He’s a quiet kid who never asks for anything which makes things like birthdays and Christmas a bit of a challenge. Another unique quality is his unwavering commitment to his younger brother. Making sure John brings his headphones to the mall, Michael’s on it. Ensuring the iPad is charged, taken care of. Verifying his brother brushed his teeth since dad went to bed before them, no problem. He was never asked to take on any of these responsibilities, it just came naturally. The impact he is making in the life of his brother is unlike anyone else’s. And I mean anyone! Just watch the look in John’s eyes when Michael is around, and you know.


The rain let up, so I decided to come to my favorite spot in Barnes and Noble. A venti coffee and my computer on the table in front of me. I will be doing some writing today.


I was looking for an inspiration.


I have to stop looking so hard.

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