I want to tell you a story. An important story. And then I want you to share it. To help people understand why the small things we do matter – amidst all the big things that seem so insurmountable and scary.
I want to tell you what 7 yr old Daniel did, 7 yrs ago today.
Daniel never awoke before his beloved older brother, who got on the bus at 6:20 each morning.
But on Dec.14, 2012, implausibly, he did. He hustled down the driveway in his pjs and flip flops, and hugged his brother goodbye.
“The only time that ever happened”, said his dad.
/ Back inside, his dad told him he could go back to bed, but Daniel wouldn’t. He wanted to cuddle with his dad.
When his sister left for school, and his mom left for work, they got big hugs too. So nice, they remember, because often Daniel was still asleep when they left.
On the walk to the bus stop with his dad, he didn’t want to play their usual game of tag.
“Can we just hold hands today?” He asked.
So they did.
Daniel didn’t come home on the bus that afternoon.
He died, 7 years ago today, in his first grade classroom.
But what he did that morning – the hugs, the cuddling, the holding hands – are, for his family, perhaps the most important things he ever did.
Big things matter. I know they do. I fill my days working on big things.
But small things – the kind words, the little favor, the easy compliment, the hug – matter more to those on the receiving end than any of us know.
Today, more than other days, that’s worth remembering.