The party is in full swing and I am annoyed.
‘I wish I could see. I’m so short that this tall man in front of me doesn’t let me see.’ I say this to myself, out loud, and he hears me.
‘You are not saying that to me, are you? I’m shorter than you.’ There is a sarcastic annoyance now in his voice that tells me I’ve struck a nerve.
We are related, both of us height challenged and yet at this moment I have to concede that I have an inch or two on him on the scale of height.
Still, I can’t see, with this tower of inconvenience who hovers in front of me, blocking my view.
But I have a clear view to the man standing next to me who complained about his stature.
He is beaming with pride and happiness, the look of genuine love in his eyes as he captures sporadic glances of those in the room, tidbits of his history, the definition of the life he has forged.
He is working this room, acting as the most casual of hosts, embracing these people who are his extended family, a plethora of friends and relatives of sorts that have crossed the span of years.
He quietly dances with a little girl who in a perfect, less restrictive world would be deemed his granddaughter.
He takes an active role in all of the night’s events and yet he remains in the background, quiet and selflessly, letting those around him enjoy their much deserved spotlight.
My eyes are on him, mostly, all night.
He is as important as anyone here and yet he moves in the realm of humble, graciously, from one moment to another, a witness and spectator, all in one.
In a different world, he would have his own spotlight shining upon him tonight. Maturity, reality, respect and restraint put him on an even higher stage than the people around us tonight.
I am beaming with pride as I see him adorn the room with the color of his wit, the bounty of his generosity and the depth of his class.
This man knows his place and is secure in the importance and value of his position. His daily life validates his self worth and he does not second guess the affections bestowed upon him. He doesn’t need the spotlight, because, in essence, he is the spotlight.
Interestingly enough, he will never cast the greatest or largest shadow and he might never tower over most or even many people. That is his reality.
Today, however, small stature notwithstanding, he is larger than life and, in my eyes, he is the tallest man in the room.