I’m writing to the man I saw muscling his child into a carseat in the parking lot. His boy must’ve been eleven or twelve, but wasn’t able to walk. The man lifted him from a wheelchair and buckled him in. The boy drooled all over the man’s shirt.
When the man finished, he kissed his son and said, “How about some Ben and Jerry’s?” To which the boy commenced to pitching an ever-loving fit.
The good kind of fit.
I’m also writing to the employee standing in front of Piggly Wiggly, her face in her hands. I have no idea what she’s crying about, but it must’ve been important enough to clock out for it.
To the drunk man in the gas station, hollering at the clerk. The police officer showed up to manage the situation. The drunk fella started crying, “My wife, she’s run off with my BEST FRIEND! What’re my kids gonna do?”
The officer hugged the gentleman.
To the girl who doesn’t like her body. The boy who wishes he were an athlete, but doesn’t have the coordination to keep cheese on a cracker.
To the woman whose husband left her with four children. To the kids in the airport, who wear matching yellow T-shirts that read: “Future Farmers of America.” These kids are on their way to Omaha to learn about breakthroughs in animal husbandry. Rena is very excited about this. So is Ted.
Billy told me he doesn’t give two flocks about it.
I’m writing to the haves and have-nots. To the waitress in Waffle House who rushed her mother into the hospital last week, but was too late. Heart attack. The girl took out a loan to pay for the funeral.
To my pal, Jake, who had back surgery. To my friend who got wronged by the Methodist church which employed him. To the man on the side of the road, loading a dog carcass into the back seat of his car.
To the poor soul who’s spent his whole life wishing to be famous, who still doesn’t realize what a blessing it is to be a nobody. To the woman who lost her daughter in a drowning accident. The man on the beach, who served in Iraq, who has no right calf muscle.
To me, who can’t sleep right now, who is writing this because I’m still thinking about the man with the wheelchair-bound son. Because seeing such a thing made me forget the election signs on the street corner, and it made me proud to be a human being. Damn proud.
God bless us.