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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

James

Work has been extremely busy, which has cut into my blogging time the last few days. Blogging will probably continue to be light through the next week or two, as I am working hard on a huge quarterly project at work and I am going home to Alabama for the first time in two years for the first part of next week. Since I am going home, I thought I would share a story. There is a man in Birmingham named James who has been working at the JCC for years and years. James is a black man in his 50's or 60's and is legally blind. He works as a massage therapist. Because he is blind, and very different from most of the people who frequent the JCC, not everyone is always so comfortable around him or friendly to him. I used to work at the JCC as a receptionist. I loved working there because I developed relationships with many of the regulars, and there was always something going on - kids running around, sports groups competing, jewish activities. When James didn't have a massage scheduled, he would regularly come to my desk and talk to me and we would chat about the day. He is a very sweet man, and always had interesting insights to share. I never thought that much about it. Now, almost six years since I last worked at the JCC, every time James sees my parents, he still asks about me and about how I am doing. He has told my parents over and over about how much he liked me and what a nice person I was. He is one of the few people that I absolutely cannot miss seeing when I go to visit. It didn't take very much for me to be nice to James. A few minutes of conversation and a friendly word here and there. But it has stuck with him for years. You never know what small gesture might really touch a person. It doesn't always take a lot to make a difference in someone's life.

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