Not the guy in the man lift but the one behind him in the wheelchair on the sidewalk. He stays in the nursing home across the street from where we’re building. Since day 1 when I arrived on this job site I’ve noticed him sitting there every morning from 7am he takes lunch when we do and doesn’t leave until I shut the crane down and head out. I originally had thought to myself, “He’s just a curious old man and wanting to enjoy his days outside vs being cooped up in his room.”
Well after a couple days, I myself got curious, so I walked over and introduced myself to him. We had a long conversation, two and a half hours worth, but long story short Harold is nearing the end. His heart valves are clogged and some disease has been eating at him for years. ( I don’t know the name of it) and when he was able to work before everything had happened to him health wise he was a crane operator. He said he enjoys seeing what he use to love to do for a living and never thought he’d ever be able to see or be around a crane again and let alone be so close to see one in action. He has family, 2 daughters and a son who haven’t seen him for the last 7 years he’s been in a nursing home.
So I made Harold an a deal! He originally wanted to be put on payroll ? as I explained to him that wasn’t possible I quickly came to what I thought was a fair agreement. Our deal is this, Harold ran cranes for over 50 years and no matter how good you think you are at something there’s always more to learn. So I told Harold every day after work I’ll sit with him for a little bit so he can critique me and judge me on how I did for that day (give him something to talk about that he enjoys) while I also get to learn from him and In return I would bring him a black coffee every morning for as long as I’m here and buy him lunch twice a week from wherever he chooses….. he didn’t skip a beat before ABSOLUTELY! came out of his mouth ❤️
I guess I’m writing this post because if I would have never walked over to him i would have never gotten to know him. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to make this mans last days enjoyable. Filled with purpose and to be able to help him smile again. I challenge any of you on here to not be like I was in the beginning and don’t be afraid to make someone else’s day better. Always try to enlighten someone’s spirits. When God chooses to take this man home I’m happy knowing that I’ve been placed here at this location to make his days better. I’m happy with that❤️
As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.
The old man was looking at the engine.
I put my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.
I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him.
I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade. He then turned back to the old man. I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying:”You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at your age.” And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.
I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay.
I had seen enough, and I approached the old man.
He saw me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem.’
He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head.
I looked under the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me.
Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and I went inside. I saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem the old man had with his car. I offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.
The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine), I spoke with the old gentleman.
When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’
He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal …
He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.
He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We shook hands all around again, and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.
I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.
One of them pulled out a card from his pocket, looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.
For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written:’Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’
I sat there motionless, looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his presence.
Remember, OLD men like him gave our FREEDOM for America . Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to support them.
America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall. If you don’t stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!
Remember, Freedom IS NOT free. Thousands have paid the price, so you can enjoy what you have today.
LET’S DO THIS – JUST 19 WORDS:
GOD OUR FATHER, WALK THROUGH MY HOUSE AND TAKE AWAY ALL MY WORRIES; AND PLEASE WATCH OVER AND HEAL MY FAMILY; AND PLEASE PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS, AND WATCH OVER OUR TROOPS, WHO ARE DEFENDING THOSE FREEDOMS. AMEN.