He was a most remarkable man. A man of years clearly mapped out upon his face. Clean, well-kept, but not pretentious in his style or dress. I shook his hand and felt a mix of gentleness and hardened, leather-like skin. I would guess he labored most of his life; now he was forced to stop long enough to heal.
His movie-star blue eyes slip you into a momentary trance. He wouldn't notice you staring at him, though, for he is legally blind. But he senses the hesitation in your voice if you do not respond immediately to his first question. "So, how was your life?"
That question alone halts you in your tracks.
"I would be better prepared to answer how was my day," I suggested.
"That's too easy," he said. "I think we need to keep up on our life as a whole."
I thought for a moment and simply asked, "Why?"
"We tend to nit-pick. We can so easily take one day and dissect it. It is easy to say you are having a bad day. Or simply write it off as 'One of those days.' But when we broaden the view, we take much more into consideration. Life in general will be 'good' or at least 'okay,'" he explained.
"So you cut right to it and ask for an overall rating," I said.
"If I can get someone to see the big picture and realize there is more good in their life than one bad day, I might even change their outlook on this very day," he said.
"So, how was your life?" I asked him right back.
"Wonderful so far!" he responded with a smile. "Thanks for asking."
Then he said one more thing that really stayed with me. "I'm on the shady side of sunset."
How powerful! It seems to me that we often see life as beginnings and endings. Sunrise depicts a new dawn, an exciting adventure ahead. Sunset make us think of endings, like "riding off into the sunset."
This man knew his life, his time, was coming to a close.
"I do hope the sun sets slower for you," I told him. "You have so many more people to ask the big question."
Before I left I promised him I'd help. Let me begin by asking you.
"So, how was your life?"