A Life-Changing Moment

Moses was one of my special people. I met him at my office in Hilo 27 years ago. I believe that life – or God – sends to us special people, you know? He was unforgettable, first because he was 100 years old and I didn’t have any other 100-year-old patients in my practice at that time. He was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and slippers, but what really stood out was his long white hair.

He was unforgettable, too, for his laugh, the infectious kind that comes often and from deep within the heart.

Puzzled, I asked him, “Why now, after all these years, are you getting hearing aids?” He didn’t pause. He just laughed and pointed to the waiting room, “Do you see those young people who brought me here?”

I had, actually: the “young people” were in their 20’s and 30’s. He continued, “Those aren’t my grandchildren; they are my great, great grandchildren, and one of them is my great, great, great grandchild. They want me to be able to hear them but, most importantly, they told me they wanted to talk with me because I had so much to teach them.”

And then this wise old man looked deep into my eyes with a smile and said, “I can’t wait! Where’s my hearing aids?”

I fitted him with the hearing aids and never saw him again. I often wonder what he taught those great, great, great grandchildren. Imagine 100 years of stories direct from a man who was already a father at the start of The Great War. I wonder if he laughed at the young people’s jokes now that he could hear them. Today he would be 127 and he’s still teaching me with the memory of his laugh and his clear message about what really makes us complete, fulfilled and happy.

Thank you, Moses…

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