Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Memorable Meal - Breakfast in Bed I Will Never Forget

Let me share some food for thought . . .

I have been blessed to have a number of families scattered across the Globe that have "adopted" me as a member of their extended family. This makes life thrilling and comforting as I travel, since I am never far from special friends. Whenever possible, I prefer staying and visiting with these friends to the sterile life of a hotel guest. One special part of my wide net of families is the Cross family of Westport, CT. Marla and I first met on stage as we were both actors in a summer-long production of "Little Shop of Horrors." (My acting "career" is a story for another time!) We have been close ever since, and when she married Sean, the circle widened. Sean and Marla are now the proud parents of Camille - age 5, Ethan - age 3 and Raquel - who just arrived on the scene a few weeks ago. Sean works as an executive with Harper Collins Publishing in NYC and Marla balances motherhood and an acting career. You would recognize her face from her roles in such films as "Forrest Gump", "The Fan," "Great Expectations," "Autumn Heart," and "Road Trip." She has also appeared in a number of TV roles - Seinfeld, Law and Order, etc.

Last Thursday and Friday, I had meetings at West Point and in NYC, so I gladly accepted the Cross's hospitality and took over their guest room for a few nights. On Saturday morning, around 7:00 o'clock, I heard a knock on the guest room door. Ethan came in, jumped on the bed and handed me a package of string cheese. "Grandpa Al, here is some cheese for you!" Sean and Marla and Raquel were still sleeping peacefully, but Ethan and Camille had decided it was time to feed Grandpa Al. Camille entered next carrying a full plate - a stunning assortment of cherry tomatoes, strawberries, three strips of cold bacon that she had found in the refrigerator, a container of yogurt and a juice box! "Here, Grandpa Al, I made this just for you." It was one of the best meals I have had in a long while!

At the time, I was touched by the thoughtfulness that went behind Ethan and Camille's kindness and creativity. But the more I reflect on that extraordinary morning, the more in awe I become in pondering the precocious spirit of these two delightful little persons. Most toddlers and pre-school children are developmentally still focused on their own needs and wants. For a 3-year-old and a 5-year old to take the initiative to figure out that I might be hungry and to orchestra flawlessly a full meal is mind boggling.

Clearly, Marla and Sean have been role models who have inculcated in their children at an early age a spirit of sharing and "servanthood" that is an inspiration. Don't believe everything you read in the headlines. There is hope and love in this world. There are stable and nurturing families where the next generation is learning the values that will stand them in good stead as they assume places of leadership.

I thought you might enjoy my sharing this encouraging news on this beautiful spring day! Ethan and Camile have inspired me to think about how I may be able to surprise and delight someone with an unexpected act of kindness. Is there anyone in your circle of family members and friends who could use an unanticipated "breakfast in bed"? Go surprise them with a loving act, and think of the Crosses!

"And a little child will lead them" (Isaiah 11:6)



Anonymous said...

Al, what a wonderfully touching story! Thanks for the smile you put on my face. :)

jsavard said...

Isaiah was a man well ahead of his time (<; --- GREAT POST!

jsavard said...
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jsavard said...
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