“Lewis J. Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July, But, throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore a most important man. Couldn’t happen, you say? Probably not in most places – but it DID happen in The Twilight Zone.”
Watching: This is a very, very sweet story, reminiscent of O. Henry’s “The Last Leaf.” Give it its just due by choosing to watch when you will not be distracted, either by others or by internal distractions. Do yourself that favor, too.
Kind Action: Take time to think of stories, true and fictional, of people who have made a sacrifice for others. Start with big sacrifices, like soldiers dying in times of war. Then move to what might be considered smaller sacrifices, a parent giving up something in order for her child to have it, to even smaller sacrifices, someone giving the last slice of cake in the house to another. That sort of thing. Then think of a sacrifice someone has made on your behalf. Contact that person and thank them.
Note, a short story version of this episode can be found in “Twilight Zone Collector’s Edition.”
I would like to comment on a particular kind of “sacrifice” which I will name marital sacrifice. I know from the example of my daugher and ex-son-in-law that all marriages are not the same in this realm. On Thursday, I had a very difficult and long day with a series of appointments and annual testing involving an hour drive each way. On top of that I had a dental issue with a recent root canal and that got squeezed into the middle. When I made the original appointments I expected to drive myself.
That morning however, my husband volunteered to go with me and do the driving. I accepted with a big thank you based on my understanding that he was giving up his day to help me. We have that kind of marriage. He tends to be a bit more generous than me about the daily “sacrifices” doing something for the other that lighens their load. We have a natural division of labor which I do not include in this arrangement. I am talking about things which are not part of the normal daily life together, but which you know that your partner will do for you because he or she wants you to have the best experience possible.
Think what it would be like if our partner did not take us to have surgery? When I have done this for him, I am there to support him and to make sure he can have the best possible experience, but do I want to be there…? That is the question is it not? My first choice might actually be to relax at home, but these “marital sacrifices” are the basis of our love. We know that we can always count on that other person to be there for us regardless of what obstacles are thrown in our way!
I see Bookman’s choice as being based on love and therefore it is a reflection of a choice he makes which shows not only his character but also his relationship to the children, absent a wife and children of his own. Another win-win situation…