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Random thoughts from a woman in love

My son, Jeff, is an Eagle Scout and an Assistant Scout Leader for his troop now that he is 23 years old.  I am extremely proud of him, not only for his accomplishments as a scout, but also for the man he has become and his general approach to life and his friends and family.  As I saw an elderly man panhandle at a traffic light the other night,  I flashed back to one of those moments where my son completely and absolutely amazed me to the point of tears.

At the wise old age of 16, Jeff asked me to stop at Safeway to get a snack for him and his friend Chris before they headed off to Castle Rock to go rock climbing.  He had his allowance burning a hole in his pocket.  I stopped at the store, and watched as the boys walked through the parking lot.  They passed a man who was sitting on the curb in front of the store holding a sign that said “Homeless and hungry. Can you help?”  The boys greeted him with a nod as they walked by.

I noticed that most people passing this man on the curb ignored him. Oh, how I hate that.  I thought, “At least acknowledge his existence, even if you can’t or won’t help him.”  Everyone should be treated with dignity, regardless of their circumstance.

As I began to search my cavernous purse for the Safeway gift card I had won at work, the boys came back out of the store.  Jeff stopped next to the man on the curb, handed him the bag of groceries he was carrying and then shook his hand.  What Jeff said to the man, I will never know, but it resulted in a smile and a laugh from the man as he said to Jeff, “God bless you. God bless you.”  I know my son said, “Thank you.  He already has!”  That’s his standard response when someone says that to him.  He and Chris returned to the car, empty-handed but smiling.

Jeff said, “That was cool.” as he dropped into the front seat.  I asked him what happened.  He said he didn’t feel right getting “junk food” after seeing the guy sitting at the curb, so he got a whole cooked chicken and some fruits and vegetables to give him  “I can wait until dinner, mom.  He looked like he hasn’t had a good dinner for a while.” Then, because I was getting teary eyed, he frowned at me and muttered, “It was the right thing to do, okay?  Can we go now?”  And that was it.  I let it go because Jeff didn’t want to talk about it anymore.  So on to Castle Rock we drove, listening to alt rock at a decibel that sent shock waves through my system and nearly made my ears bleed, but I didn’t care.  My son was becoming a good man with a kind heart.  I could suffer a little loud music for him that day.

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