i was finishing up workin' in the yard.
i was walkin' slow.
easin' my back into standing up straight.
slippin' off my work gloves, i wandered over to the mail box.
the street's gettin' busy enough you gotta pay attention
so as not to get run over.
it's not that busy.
but i never even used to look.
now i look.
as i crossed back over onto my driveway,
i thumbed thru all the junk and headed for my recyclin' bin.
and then i saw it.
i stopped mid-stride on the driveway.
wow! look at that!
i tore open the envelope.
i smiled and smiled and smiled.
and shook my head.
as i walked up to my door to put the letter inside,
i declared right out loud 'he's my hero.'
he's my 93 year old hero.
i don't even know how old he was when i met him.
had to be at least 83. maybe 85.
he liked bone sighs and came to a 'meet the artist'
thing i did.
that right there says something.
an 85 year old man liked bone sighs??
he met me and my kids. he was a photographer.
took a shot of all of us. it was the early days.
we all looked like we had been thru an awful lot.
and we had.
i see it every time i look at that picture.
he didn't see that tho.
he saw our beauty.
and we kept in touch.
but a few years back, we just lost touch.
and i was afraid to find out if he had passed.
i just didn't really want to hear that.
so i left it be.
sometimes i do that.
bury my head in the sand.
but there he was.
in my mailbox.
in assisted living now.
typing me a letter and enclosing that very photo
he took of me and the boys and one of himself.
there wasn't a complaint to be had.
there wasn't one of those guilt trips
of 'why haven't i heard from you.'
HE apologized to me for dropping outta touch.
he explained his health decline in the most
non-complaining way you could imagine. and summed it up
as 'things have been a bit messy.'
he misses his old house 'but am thankful for the life i had.'
he 'reckons' the boys have grown up and was curious what
everyone was up to.
he still takes pictures, but he can't get out and travel much
and his 'fellow retirees don't make the greatest models.'
i laughed out loud.
he's what i want to be when i grow older.
interesting and positive.
not sunk into himself.
alive even tho he's older.
i'm keepin' this letter.
it's proof to me.
it can be done.
i'll be writing him.
and telling him how much his letter means to me.
we touch people in the most amazing ways and don't
even know it.
he will be told about being my hero for sure.
what a reminder that how we live truly touches those
around us. and who we are matters more than we can