As children, we don’t always understand why our parents do what they do, and by the time we’ve grown up, we tend to forget to ask about their actions. This woman’s story is a touching reminder that everyone has a story to share, all you have to do is listen and learn what you can from their experiences.
My father Gale is 82 years old now. I recently learned about his random act of kindness that happened more than 60 years ago. I wept as my mother told me the story.
She began, “You know your father will never tell you this, but I want you to know when you and your sister were very little, your father worked in the coal mine near Alpha. It was dangerous and dirty work. One day while your Dad was working his shift, a guy on the crew broke his ankle and your father watched as others carried the fellow out of the mine.
Your Dad thought about that fella with a broken ankle all during the rest of his shift. He kept thinking, how will this man feed his family this week and the next? That day, at the end of my Dad’s shift, he went to his boss and asked if he could work double-shifts for a month or two; so the fella with the broken ankle and his family would continue to have a weekly paycheck until he could return to work.
Dad’s boss said yes. Dad worked his shift, and the extra shift for a crew member he did not know much about, except that he had a wife and children. Dad worked double shifts for two months.
I had an opportunity to ask my Dad about his random act of kindness. I told him he was truly a hero.”
Not many people would do something like this for others today. We might make them dinner or sign a card passed around at the office, but how many people would take on an extra shift for months just to keep another family fed? This is the kind of selflessness that the world needs.
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