I probably would’ve picked up the newspaper on the driveway without thinking about it this morning after walking the BlogDog in the dark if I hadn’t been one of the people who threw one on people’s doorsteps in Woodbury for a decade in the ’90s.
So I have an appreciation of the “daily miracle” and the invisible people responsible for it.
Brenda McDonald, of Boston, does too. The carrier helped her overcome the loss of her husband, even though he never met him/her, she wrote on Cognoscenti.
Every time she heard the thud at the front door (newspapers were once delivered to the front door), it reminded her that life goes on.
In the dead of winter, in the predawn dark, the newspaper guy never missed a day.
I thought: If he can do it, I can do it.
Once a week, I left the paper guy the payment, plus a tip — a 10 or a 20.
Once he wrote in black marker on the clear plastic that the paper came wrapped in, “Thank you! Stephen.”
One day, at the fish market, I overheard one of the men behind the counter discussing his newspaper deliveries, how many miles he covered that morning.
Could this be Stephen? I wondered.
My heart thumped. So my newspaper man also flips fish, I thought. I wanted to talk with him, to tell him how he inspired me to get out of bed every morning, in spite of my grief. But I wasn’t sure I had the right guy.
I ordered a pound of scallops.
“What’s your name?” I asked, as he wrapped them.
It was not Stephen.
If I wanted to, I decided, I could meet my delivery man.
I could get up in the morning and wait for Stephen. I could offer him a cup of coffee. My husband used to do things like that, offer a cup of coffee to a stranger.
But I opted not to open the door to a man in the dark.
It’s the dead of winter and if the meteorologists are right, tomorrow morning is going to be a lousy morning to roll out of a warm bed at 2 a.m. and slide around the roads of Minnesota to perform the daily miracle.
But all the Stephens will, because life goes on.