Monday, March 14, 2011

Little Things

Image Souce

Thursday before last, the world went sideways for us at the Random Stitches house. We got an early morning call that D's uncle had been beaten by some unknown party and didn't look like he was going to make it. I had to go on in to work before any more details could come to light, but I was really upset. D's uncle (T) was one of the sweetest men I've ever met, and I cried all the way to work trying to figure out what in the world could have made someone mad enough to beat him to death. I managed to zombie through my day since I only had to suck it up and teach 2 classes as the other 2 were (thankfully) testing. We went straight down to the hometown that night to be there when everything started the next day, but T was already gone, and the story was known by this point.

The facts as known at this point: T tried to stop an argument between an 18 yo neighbor boy and his mother (the boy was on the attacking side in this whole drama). Words were exchanged, the boy tried to push T, and T wrapped him up in a bear hug. The two fell to the ground, and T being a late middle age man was not the first to regain his feet. Mr. 18 yo was. Mr. 18 went to kicking on T's face and head, and that's that.

T was brain dead at the hospital, and some of his organs were harvested for donation. I hope that some good comes from this horrible tragedy, and someone lives, sees, breathes better after T's ultimate good deed.

So that was Thursday.

Friday dawned, and because T lived in a poor neighborhood/town, the family had to clean out the house as soon as they could. D and his family went down there to try and get things boxed to move to a storage shed until things settle down. When they went through his truck on Saturday, they found a number of things stashed in the console of the truck. Now to understand this next bit, follow me back a year or two.

I have travelled a lot in the past few years for part of my job, and on one of these random trips across the country, I sent T a postcard. When I saw him again, he was as proud as a new papa about that postcard. Since he liked it, I started sending him a postcard from all of the little trips I would take on the weekends and on business. I loved sending him a card because I knew he would like it.

Flash back to the present and the clean out of the truck.

In the console, along with pictures of D's dad and step mom, D's Mema, and D was the stack of postcards I'd sent from all over the place. He kept them in his truck, right next to him, so that he could keep them safe and so that nothing would happen to them. These were the things he cared most about in life. A few faded pictures and some dog eared postcards.

When I sent those cards, I just sent them to make him smile. I thought he would like them enough to read them, but I never had any idea what they would mean to him. I can't tell this story without crying each time. There is a Jack Johnson song that has lyrics that now make me cry:

There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
no song that I could sing
but I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
like a shoebox of photographs,
with sepia tone loving,
love is the answer
at least for most of the questions in my heart,
like why are we here? and where do we go?
and how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy,
and sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together.


The first lines now make me bawl like a baby. His memorial service was last Saturday, and I counted everything in the church I could see to try and keep myself from crying. The preacher didn't know T, but I was preaching the eulogy in my own head. I keep thinking about those post cards now. They play on my mind all day and night. Those simple little cards sent with little thought or effort meant more to him than I ever knew. It just brought me back to the awe that I have for simple things. Doing simple, good things for people and the impact that those actions could have makes me think about the life I live every day. Mema hot on to me last year at Thanksgiving because I was sending T postcards and not her. I do not regret a single one I've sent now. I'm so happy I sent those to T because they meant so much to him.


So the whole point of this blog post is to think about those small things we could do for people every day that take little time, effort, or money to do. I challenge you and me to do them. Hold the door. Call your grandma. Wave at the strange fellow on the sidewalk. Make someone's day.

No comments: