A Random Meeting
If Agnes had been a fruit, her flavor would probably have been considered more bitter than sweet. She wasn’t known for sugarcoating her words to reduce tartness.
When she received news that her mother had passed, an old animosity towards her brother resurfaced. She suspected that Randy might try to snatch their mother’s antique Swedish Chippendale leather sofa from her. “We’ll see about that!” she muttered to herself.
They agreed on meeting, and during the drive, Agnes prepared the expected Chippendale battle by mustering up an army of arguments. An escalating headache helped sharpen her tools.
The restaurant where she stopped for lunch was crowded, and Agnes reluctantly had to ask an older woman permission to share her table. When sitting down, she noticed that her lunch companion had no make up, no jewelry, and very plain clothing. “How dull!” Agnes thought. The woman also irritated her by looking provocatively relaxed and harmonious.
They started chit-chatting, and Agnes mentioned the upcoming property division. The woman listened attentively, smiling and nodding. “What a wonderful opportunity for giving,” she gently commented. “Life has taught me that by giving freely, one receives peace of mind and happiness, while grasping brings feelings of lack and negativity, no matter how much one accumulates.”
“But…” Agnes protested, then stopped. Something in the woman’s appearance and words made sense. “Isn’t it interesting,” the stranger calmly continued, “that when you extend love by giving and forgiving, wonderful and unexpected things happen? It’s like magic!”
The words fell over Agnes’ mind like life-giving rain in a dry desert. It dawned on her that she might benefit from adjusting her attitude towards humanity.
When Agnes was back in her car, it felt as if her brain had been loosened from a firm grip. Her headache was gone and her thoughts had transformed from grey bullets to colorful butterflies. Spontaneously, she decided to let her brother have what he wanted.
Agnes surprised Randy by greeting him with a generous hug. Looking into her smiling eyes, he said, “Agnes, I know you love Mom’s old couch. I want you to have it.”