photographs courtesy of Google source: Life Archives
It’s like in little kids bowling where they use bumperguards to give the kids a fighting chance to get the ball all the way down the alley.
Kind people are kind of like life’s bumperguards/bodyguards. They can and do make just slugging though some days more than bearable. Hell, they make it splendid through their jokes and kindnesses and humor. It’s in that very smile they take the time to share.
I have this Corner Grocer named Ray. He’s just one example of those souls who has saved and helped many a soul through a stark and terrible times by just being who he is. Just being there, always with his smile. A kind soul, with an ever ready smile little joke or compliment. Here’s an example…I stopped down the other day to the corner store, and had Lasagna on my mind, so I lurched through their tiny store sounding like a wheezing old accordion and pushing that tiny cart, after a little shopping I was standing at the tiny register talking with Ray’s daughter who helps him run the place. In came this big stretch of a guy all suntanned and skinny lean you know, nice enough sort who starts dancing…”Where’s Ray?” he says. And again with the little dance like he’s got to go to the bathroom or he has a wonderful secret and he’ll just bust if he can’t tell somebody. So there Amber and I stand… now Amber’s a really young new Mom of 5-year-old who handles a lot of the work at the store, the baking and a ton of other details so she had very little in the way of “downtime” anyhow, but she is Ray’s daughter so she still takes the time to be kind and be patient with this guy in a hurry . I meanwhile am concentrating on my future lasagna Food Follies, complete with a chocolate cake and have to be reminded just by watching Amber handle this guy, just to be nice. So I politely ask this Weekend Fisherman who’s just up visiting his millionaire cottage and boat ( I’m sure he’s a Doc on the lam) how is he doing , when it all spills out… He’s just caught the biggest Perch fish in the free world! And has to tell somebody, preferably a fisherman. But the rascal had to settle for a little imitation Ray, just Amber and I cheering him on. And it’s enough if you just need to tell the news to someone. Find a Mom or and old Mom a Grandma…they’ll see you and tell you just how wonderful you are. Because that’s what the Ray’s and the Kate’s and the Amber’s have very carefully reminded me of what my Daddy, Bill Spellacy taught me…like Bill said, “it’s nice to be nice.” …I just didn’t know I too could be somebody’s bumperguard-bodyguard, just being nice.