Sunday Atlas wanted to walk into church, so once I got him to the walkway I let him take his time. He stopped at the end of the walkway and leaned over to smell the flowers. They were little flowers no more than 3 inches off the ground. But to a 22 month old, they were significant and deserved to be smelled.
We got closer to the door, I glanced up to see Gene Mellott standing at the door as he does every Sunday, holding the door open. this was the second time this day he had opened the door... and he closed it again when Atlas saw the flat round concrete disks the children from Art in A Park had made by hand. He decided he wanted to jump from rock to rock.
I was losing patience but looked up to see Gene still watching him. One more potted flower to go.
Atlas stopped again and smelled the last of the flowers. I shook my head and Gene and I both laughed. We made it inside and Gene closed the door behind us.
Gene passed away early Monday morning. While I wish I had hugged his neck one more time, I am so grateful that we shared one last precious moment. Gene was a staple at the church. You just *know* he will be there when you go, so you smile and say hello and find your seat. He just helps the flow of the church and you don't think that one moment someone will be here and the next they wont.
I have learned a lot from my child and I will be the first to admit that I often dread stopping to smell the flowers.. I'm in a rush to get things done before I get exhausted. But on this one morning like all others, I am glad we did. I know that God planted that lesson in Atlas to show me.