3 faces …+ one.

by Captain Bradley

3 women. 3 faces. 3 stories yet to be told.  3 very different stories, I’m sure.

I started this weekend traveling up to Ohio to move our oldest daughter’s furniture and stuff out of the dorm where she was interning the summer.  She loves kids and she’s going to be a great teacher.  Her face is one of hope, inspiration, love, joy, and just a sweetness that, for her generation, seems the norm.  Whether watching her face dining al fresco on a cool patio that night or seeing her face as I walk away from our time together this past Friday night, hers is a beautiful face I will never forget.

As I drive away, I think about her. I think about her dreams. And, I think about all the things to come for her, for her sister, and for these   little guys we have today.   As I’m kind of daydreaming about all those things, I drive through what would be called the rough part of Cincinnati.  I pull up to a red light and stop. However I’m in the middle of the cross walk, like a big jerk. Enter, to my right, another face. The face of a mom.  She has 5 kids, mostly younger children.  She starts to cross at the intersection, but stops because my oversized SUV is out in the middle of the crosswalk. Her face speaks volumes. Jerk!  Her timing to cross was not good, which was partly my fault.  The light changed, I stayed put, and I watched for cars beside me to make sure they weren’t going to pull out at the same time. She gathered up the children back to the corner. Jerk! That’s exactly what I felt like. 

Now, it’s Sunday morning.  It’s very quiet downtown.  It always is on Sunday mornings. Even the homeless, the derelicts, and the ones who just lay around downtown are somewhere else on Sunday mornings.  Maybe they are at church, unlike myself.  Enter the third face. One light-hearted face. One kind of sauntering to the bench where she’s going to lounge in peace.  Yes, there’s going to be a lounger this morning in downtown.  Unusual. Strange. But, there she is. Laying down on the bench that you’re not supposed to be able to lay down on, because of the bar in the middle. But, she’s obviously slightly more creative than city planners had planned.  She curls herself right around that bar, laying sideways on the rain-soaked bench, and smoking a cigarette like she is Greta Garbo as the Queen of Sheba.  It seems like her happy place.  Just enjoy your happy place, wherever that is.  

3 faces. 3 stories. 3 women. All with stories to tell you, I’m sure.  All teaching me something different this weekend.  Granted, faces number 2 and 3 are not nearly as important to me as face number 1, my beautiful daughter.  However, all 3 reminded me of important things this weekend. Things that I  already know. But, things that are important nonetheless. 

None of us really see the faces around us until we make eye-contact.  The eyes really are the windows to the soul, which can be full of joy, hope, fear, sadness, disgust, contentment, or whatever life throws at us and makes us feel. 

But…..there’s a 4th face that I need to mention.  A face that I have loved for almost 2 decades. 

Today is our anniversary.  We’ve raised four children together, so far. We’ve helped a bunch more children who we will never really know.  We’ve been relatively poor in the bank account. We’ve been relatively wealthy there, as well.  However, we’ve always been rich, in ways that really count.  Hers is a beautiful face. A face every man should know. A face that everyone should should enjoy as a friend. A face that is a friend to everyone she meets.  One beautiful face. 

Happy anniversary, Ginny Lee…that face.