Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Something Made Me Smile Today -- A Gentleman and a Brooch

Since my computer crashed over the weekend, I have not been able to access the internet until now, so, I have returned to begin one of our traditions here at the Robin's Nest Treasures Blog -- which is that I will close each post with a segment, which may be only a few words, or it may be longer, about "something that made me smile that day".   So, here is my "smile" for today.


  As I was looking through my coat closet today I passed by my dress coat that I haven't worn much lately and I saw this vintage brooch pinned on the lapel.  It brought back a memory for some reason that I would like to share with you.
  Several years ago, long before I ever envisioned starting Robin's Nest Treasures, I bought a lovely vintage brooch which I thereafter wore on my winter dress coat.  I loved the pin and I received many compliments on it from strangers, but there was a compliment from one man that I  will always remember.                                                                                 
  I worked in downtown Pittsburgh, PA for about 22 years as a trial attorney, and through the years we came to recognize certain homeless men who frequented our end of town.  There was one particular man, whose name I am ashamed to say that I do not know,  who lived on the streets for years who appeared to suffer from schizophrenia or some other severe mental illness.  He often roamed in and out of traffic, disheveled at best, rambling unintelligibly, and shouting whatever was on his mind to whoever would listen.
  One bright sunny winter day I was walking down the sidewalk downtown toward a corner where I needed to cross the street, and I found this man standing on the corner.  His clothes were new, he was clean shaven, his eyes were clear and bright!  He smiled at me and said -- What a lovely brooch you're wearing madame, may I escort you across the street?  Normally, I might have hesitated, but his eyes were so bright, his spirits so high, I could not help but smile and say -- Why certainly kind sir.
  So we walked across the street -- just a few dozen feet -- and then we parted ways, but I must tell you that he still makes me smile because my heart leaped for joy for him that day.  Not because he had bathed or had new clothes, but because, for a least some brief time, he had escaped from the neurological abyss that fate had placed him into.  I don't know whether he received some medication or whether his brain chemistry just decided to give him a compassionate respite from his torturous disease, but, whatever the cause --- for a brief time --- his face was in the sun, and he was whole.
  The next time I saw him he was filthy, delirious, rambling - buried deep again in his horrible abyss.  I pitied him with all of my heart.  I don't know what ever happened to him.  Wherever he is, in this life or the next, I hope that he would be pleased to know that, when I think of him, I think of that gallant gentleman who escorted me across the street that beautiful winter day, and that even today - he makes me smile.    

Until the next time,
Be Well and Happy --


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