I’m thinking about things. I’m thinking about life itself. How precious it is. How brief. Unpredictable. How good.

Walmart. The cereal aisle. I’m browsing a wall of colorful boxes.

I’m interrupted by the voice of a child. A kid is riding on the front of a buggy like Captain Ahab. His mother is driving. His father is following.

The kid is making airplane noises.

The child is small. His joints are bony. His skin is pale. He is bald. There is a half-moon-shaped scar on his scalp. Another scar travels down the back of his neck.

He jumps off the cart. His tennis shoes hit the floor hard.

“Can I buy EVERY kinda cereal?” he asks.

“You’re not going to feel like cereal after surgery,” his father says.

“Let’s wait until surgery’s over,” adds his mother. “Once you’re better, then you can have as many boxes as you want.”

The boy is younger than young. Barely out of toddlerhood. He looks sick. He stares at them and says:

“What if I’m dead after surgery?”

His remark is as sincere as April rain. And it brings hot water to my eyes.

His mother and father scoop him into their arms. I have to leave the aisle.

All of a sudden, I am in the produce section. I see a Mexican family. They are standing in a huddle, speaking rapid-fire.

The youngest girl—ten years old maybe—is teaching two adult women to speak English.

The girl holds an onion toward them.

“UN-yun,” she says.

They adults say, “OWN-YOAN.”

“UNNN-yunnnn.”

“OWN-EEE-OWN.”

The girl laughs. The women laugh and say, “Que difícil es inglés.”

I’m still thinking about the kid.

The checkout line is long. There are only two cashiers open.

As it happens, I am a few shopping buggies behind the boy with the scar.

And the people of Walmart become invisible. So do the boy’s parents, the cashier, and the folks in line. I can’t see any.

I only see him.

The boy and I make eye-contact for a brief moment. It’s not long, but just enough for him to smile at me. I smile back.

His eyes are blue. He seems like the happiest creature God ever made. And it makes me proud, somehow. I wish I could take his sickness from him.

When he and his parents leave through the double doors, he’s holding his father’s and mother’s hands.

I can still see those blue eyes in my mind. You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. His were large, expressive. They became squints when he smiled. He’s a good kid. I can tell.

I’m thinking about things. I’m thinking about life itself. How precious it is. How brief. Unpredictable. How good.

Life is good.

I try to never disagree with people in public, but I would disagree with any man who doesn’t think life is good. Because it is.

Family is good. Dogs are good, mothers are good, daddies are good. Sunsets, ice cream, screened porches, handwritten letters, wives, rainstorms over hayfields, toys in cereal boxes, striped bass, and Mexican families who help each other speak English. It’s all so beautiful that it hurts.

Even so, I’ve never seen anything half as beautiful as that boy in the store.

I really hope his surgery goes well.

21 comments

  1. Elizabeth - October 1, 2018 5:39 am

    Saying a prayer for the blue-eyed little boy in Walmart. God knows who he is. Bless you, Sean.

    Reply
  2. Glenda - October 1, 2018 8:46 am

    Lump in the throat this morning, prayers for him and all the children who are ill.

    Reply
  3. Nancy Thomaston Rogers - October 1, 2018 9:06 am

    I pray so also and I pray that others can see the “good” that you do and smile as that little boy does.

    Reply
  4. Denise - October 1, 2018 10:34 am

    Me too.

    Reply
  5. Karen - October 1, 2018 11:31 am

    Praying for little Blue Eyes. Praying for all children like him.

    Reply
  6. Betb - October 1, 2018 11:42 am

    Pray all goes well

    Reply
  7. Terri C Boykin - October 1, 2018 12:08 pm

    You’ve got my heart in my throat and my eyes a little misty this morning. Going to tag that little boy onto my prayers now. Love you much Sean.

    Reply
  8. Jan - October 1, 2018 12:23 pm

    Me too, Sean! Blue eyed little boy in Walmart and his family are in my prayers!

    Reply
  9. Joy - October 1, 2018 12:39 pm

    Sean, thank you for a reminder that ‘life is good’ and that so many people need our prayers. I am praying for the little boy with blue eyes. Pray his surgery goes well and that he can pick out all the cereals he wants!

    I pray for you too! You bless my life and others every day with your posts

    Reply
  10. Ellen - October 1, 2018 12:48 pm

    You are so right Sean! Praying for the little blue-eyed Wal-Mart boy and the teeny 1.6 pound baby girl, born way too earl,who is fighting to live and the beautiful little 2 year that underwent an 11 hour heart surgery last Thursday. All of the precious babies are suffering but so are their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends! God Bless them all!!!

    Reply
  11. Carol - October 1, 2018 1:14 pm

    Praying for all the children who are suffering,
    God Bless Them All!
    Love ya

    Reply
  12. BJean - October 1, 2018 1:21 pm

    You definitely are an empath! It’s a gift.

    Reply
  13. Ellen M. Gentle - October 1, 2018 2:59 pm

    Thank you for the reminder that LOVE is constant. To be open to give LOVE, receive LOVE, is an exciting journey. Just today endless opportunities to give, receive, share, LOVE. The LOVE that comes from above yet is with us, among us and helps to LOVE

    Reply
  14. that's jack - October 1, 2018 3:29 pm

    YEP! You got great insight. i hope the surgery does the job. I agree Life is good!

    Reply
  15. Angela V Young - October 1, 2018 3:59 pm

    I love what your eyes see and how you share it, thank you!

    Reply
  16. Shelton Armour - October 1, 2018 6:32 pm

    I also pray for the boy’s surgery…may he and his family have God’s comfort peace, and strength. Give the surgeons the ability to see through your eyes and let your hands guide theirs. Give the surgical team and the doctors who care for the boy Your knowledge, discernment, and guidance. Let the boy be healed (and with him, his parents). Let the little girl go one teaching English to her loved ones. Amen.

    Reply
  17. Edna B. - October 1, 2018 7:03 pm

    What a beautiful story, Sean. I’ll say a prayer for that little blue eyed boy and all the other children who are hurting. And God Bless you, Sean, for the good you see in people and life everywhere. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  18. Bob Hubbard - October 1, 2018 8:28 pm

    And all God’s children said AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!

    Reply
  19. Kaye - October 1, 2018 11:49 pm

    Touched my heart! Yes, I agree Life Is Good❤️

    Reply
  20. Frances Shehan - October 2, 2018 1:30 am

    Me too Sean, me too…

    Reply
  21. Sandra Smith - October 2, 2018 1:39 am

    Praying him healed, Sean .❤

    Reply

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