There are people who hold a small warm place in my heart and some of them are people I don't even know. All of them are there, in a small warm place, because of some small act of kindness.
My dad's aunt gave my sister and I each a really cool, quilted leather bag with fringe on it in 1970-something. I still have mine. It's still cool. I can't remember what she looked like, but I will never forget her.
My dad's uncle Max and his wife Wilma have a warm place in my heart. I only remember being around them three times, although I'm sure it was more. The first time I was quite young and she had made haystacks with chow mien noodles and either chocolate and butterscotch. I remember thinking they were very weird, not so good candy, but the were candy, so I ate them. I don't know if those haystacks are what got them the small warm place or if it was something else. But there they are.
A man my mom took us to visit when I was about five or so, (I think he was one of her favorite teachers), taught me how to play Dominoes.
One day when I worked at McDonalds a customer ripped me up because the coffee pot wasn't working right. It was all I could do to not run away sobbing. The next man in line was very kind and said something reassuring and supportive. I don't remember the words, or his face, but I remember him.
When I was in Kindergarten the First grade teacher winked at me one day at recess. She later became one of my favorite teachers, but she would have a small warm place anyway, just because of that wink.
The man across the street let me be there when he cut up a coconut. He sang the Lime and the Coconut song while he did it. It was one of the most fascinating things I'd ever seen. (I was younger than six)
Another man across another street offered me some wisdom and comfort over the fact that I didn't have a saddle for my pony and I desperately wanted one. He said, "Indians (it was ok to say that in those days) were the best riders there ever were and they always rode bareback."
Fleeting, seemingly insignificant moments. Yet they have remained with me.
Let us live our lives so that our brief encounters leave tender fingerprints that last.