There's Always Hope

My father-in-law is quite a character.  He’s seen some amazing things since his birth in England in 1918.  He’s a gifted story teller and I’ve seen him hold friends, relatives and strangers spellbound recounting his experiences in India, Burma, Egypt and Ethiopia between 1937 and 1944.  After the war and a short stint in Canada, he and his family lived in Venezuela for 20 years, which afforded him the ability to travel around the world on vacation with his family.  He has many stories of the family’s experiences to share, including many amusing ones about his youngest son, now my husband.  

Though he’s a compassionate, generous and kind man, he also has a pessimistic side and it never fails to create some lively arguments discussions between the two of us when he comes to visit.  We had a particularly passionate one over blackberry pancakes and bacon this morning, debating the inherent goodness or evilness of the individual. Both being stubborn in our opinions, there was no way one was going to sway the other in any way.The one thing we did agree on was that humans are a very complicated bunch.  I left the kitchen feeling saddened that my father-in-law had such little hope for the human race.  

Shortly afterwards, he complemented me on the previous evening’s strawberry pie, a little of which had found of it’s way to the front of his shirt.  I was doing a load of laundry and offered to throw it in.  As I stood in front of the washing machine, pouring "Resolve" onto the red stain, I noticed something in his pocket.  I pulled a narrow strip of paper out and discovered it was from a fortune cookie.  It tickled me to think that this sometimes pessimistic and crotchety 93 year old widower had tucked this particular fortune into his pocket for safe keeping.  


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