We had no intention of crashing a party. We’d simply walked into a local establishment early on a Saturday evening with the intent of having some supper. Right away we noticed a few tables, covered in white tablecloths, set up in a U formation and a two-piece band was playing. Friends, you should note, this is not an establishment where linen table coverings are the norm; clearly something special was going on. We walked past the group of party guests in search of a table for three, which were in short supply, but our waiter graciously led us to a bare wooden table on the perimeter of the growing party, unadorned with even salt or pepper shakers. It was clearly a busier Saturday night than usual, but we were in no hurry and happily started out with tall glasses of water while we perused the menus.
We placed our orders and then chatted easily while we waited for our dinners to be ready. The waiter refilled our water glasses in between his trips from one end of the room to the other, even leaving a large water carafe on our table while apologizing for the longer-than-usual wait. Meanwhile, the leader of the band announced that the guest of honor was a woman celebrating her birthday, eighty-something years young, and everyone clapped. She and her husband made their way to the center of the room, which became their “dance floor” as they danced together. They did not move fast or even in a fancy way; but they danced like they had known one another forever and found comfort in each other’s arms. A little later, the woman’s husband was invited to play the drums for a few numbers, including Bad Bad Leroy Brown, and this woman kept dancing with various family members and friends, smiling so brightly. Her husband looked at her from his seat at the drums and beamed!
This was the longest we’d ever had to wait for our dinner orders at our local neighborhood restaurant, but in reframing the events that transpired, by having to wait a while for the food to arrive, our family was given more time to talk, and laugh, and witness a celebration of life. If we’d been seated anywhere else on that Saturday evening, we’d have missed the party! How much of life is like that, dear ones? I want to keep my eyes and heart open for unexpected gifts like this!