This is something that my Great Uncle Dawson told my Dad years ago. Dawson Kelly & Son Movers had been the family business in the Cleveland area for years. He had moved many a family during the Depression on until about 1965. Then he retired and gave the business to his son Billy (my Uncle Bill Kelly) who had worked side by side with him for years.
Well the years had taken their toll on his body. Dawson was a short and powerfully built man. Barrel chested and with a ready laugh. He was a self-taught scholar on the way of human nature not to mention the divine. He had served his country well in the first World War as a runner for dispatches from General Pershing. I’m not so sure the General was counting on those little legs of his as that quick mind to get him out of any tight spots he might find himself in delivering messages from the General to the troops. All I know is he always got through.
When he returned after the war he opened his own Moving Company and became quite active in all the Veterans organizations. He was also natural born philosopher. Dawson was very active in local politics. Something he inherited directly from his Father, the former Cuyahoga County Democratic Chairman. So when he retired from the Moving Business he found a job working as a custodian for the local Cleveland City Schools.
It seems, “one dark and stormy night”, while he was tending his duties at East High School, he called for the elevator, when it arrived he went to pull his cart in and fell two floors down the elevator shaft. They found him in the morning. Barely alive, they held out almost no hope, and my Father rushed to the hospital.
Now here he was, broken and battered, this man who was as dear to my Father’s heart as his own Dad. So as Dad leaned over his Uncle Dawson, he found he couldn’t keep his eyes dry. Just about that time Dawson came to. He looked up at this beloved nephew and said… “Now, Now, Billy…what’s wrong?” Dad went on to explain the fall, his chances for survival, not to mention total recovery and how close he came to death. Dawson just looked at him.
Then he said, “Och…Billy,—A man has to know how to tell the Luckiest Day of their life. And this’ll be mine.” Well, Dad was dumbfounded. “How could you consider this lucky!?” Dad asked. Well, Dawson explained, “Billy, I had no insurance, no retirement and now…it seems as if that’s not something I’ll be worrying about ” Great Uncle Dawson lived about 20 more years. So you see, it was one of the luckiest days of his life.
Perspective, that’s what Dawson was trying to explain to his young nephew, and how gracefully he did just that.