I watched my father sit on the couch, putting Udder Cream on his hands. It was something that he did every night after a long day of construction. Slowly he would push the cream into every cracked area, and into every cut.
“What are you doing Dad?” I would ask.
“Udder Cream. It reduces the pain. Concrete finishing and lime can severely dry out your hands. Mine are cracking open.” He would wince as he gathered another dollop on his fingers and applied another dose.
The next morning, he would get up at 5 am and go to the next construction project. Thinking about it today, I don’t ever remember him complaining.
I also don’t remember saying thank you. His efforts put me in clothes, and in the kind of education that allows me to write this today, with soft hands, and a better life than he had. He always told me that he’d rather be a happy ditch digger than a miserable bank president.
The other day I was in the middle of a long restaurant wait. It was a Sunday morning and I decided on the popular place for a Sunday. All the benches were full so I stood against the wall and started some people watching. Eventually, a young couple came in with a baby carrier. They too moved to the closest corner of the waiting area. Suddenly, a man came off the bench, walked over to the young couple, moved his teenage children, and gave the bench to the young couple.
I was grateful to be a witness to this, and this made me think of my father’s sacrifices.
Sometimes I narrowly think that goodness is rare these days. But, during those times that I get out of myself, my head, and my own issues, I see the goodness…I remember the goodness.
Thank you Dad.
Thank you young man that gave up his seat. There is still goodness in the world.