Today I met an old US Veteran. As we talked in the early morning on the ride to the VA Hospital he told me that it was his 79th birthday. With a proud smile and an gentle look he said on that the number nine was his number. When asked why the number nine he responded bright eyed, "Today my appointment is at nine and on this day forty years ago at nine am I put down my last drink." I was surprised and happy for him. He admitted that for half his lifetime alcoholism consumed him but as he said "The last half of my life was much better."
This conversation got me thinking on the nine's of my life. In 2009 I not only graduated from high school but a few days later I also enlisted in the US Army on June 9th. On October 29 I shipped out to basic training and joined Echo 210 Infantry Regimen on November 9th. At 19 I separated from the US Army after 9 months in Advanced Individual Training. I am sure there are even more 9s in my life and actually look forward to finding them.
I believe everyone has the bright nines in their life if they only look for them. I find myself hoping that when I reach 79 that I will have a wonderful story as the old man on the van did for me. Life is full of little surprises that even includes talking to someone you normally wouldn't that shined a little light on your day. I know that I will remember him for some time and I hope that everyone gives the time to listen for idle conversation can inspire and enlighten if only given the chance.