My husband used to say, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. And he’s is right. He walked the talk his entire life.
Whether he was buying lunch for some down on his luck stranger or giving our income tax return to some less fortunate family until they got back on their feet, he was always doing something for someone. Many of his good deeds went unseen.
My daughter recently told me another story that came as news to me. Over breakfast a few months ago, she and a few of her male classmates from her grade school years were talking about her dad.
The boys recalled that it was their final year in grade school and none of them had made any steps toward filling out their high school applications. They didn’t seemed to concerned about it until…
One day they were playing football in a local football field when my husband drove by and stopped to watch a few plays. He then inquired about their future studies.
There was a long pause and some shuffling of feet. They were a bit embarrassed as none had yet applied to high school.
He was a bit concerned to say the least. He also sensed an opportunity to promote his local alma mater, the all-boys Catholic High School that he helped to “build.” Build is a bit misleading – he actually dug the foundation as part of his after school detentions. But that’s another story.
He was a proud graduate of St. Edwards and if he could steer the next generation that way, he would be happy knowing that they would get a first rate education.
So he took charge and told the boys to meet him back at the field on Saturday. He wanted them showered, shaved, and dressed in a suit and tie. They were going to apply for high school. He drove them there and then led them into the school and an open house where they all signed up. Like his own children, I don’t think he gave them much choice. And I really don’t think they minded one bit.
Later, when they all grew up, some of them had sons of their own who also attended the same high school. Every once in a while when he’d bump into those boys (I should them call men) and he’d beam like a proud parent.
It was a small act of kindness that cost nothing yet meant the world to him.