Small acts of kindness are often done quietly.
Recently my cell phone rang and as I picked it up I was asked, “Larry, what’s the name of your grandchild that is so fond of Japan?” “Oh, that’s Luke,” I replied.
The Japanese company Nissan has its American headquarters just a couple miles from our house. A friend of ours was calling for his wife who has a corporate position with Nissan and often travels to Japan. “My wife just called, she’s in Japan right now and she asked that I get the name of your grandson. She wants to have someone there in the corporate office print his name in English and then print it in Japanese.”
Sometime back over a quick restaurant meal with these two friends, our grandson’s interest in Japan had just very quickly been mentioned and shared with the two of them. It was just a small bit of information, said in passing, about our grandson’s interest and fascination with Japan and the Japanese culture. You could have blown me away with the thought of this small bit of information being remembered, and more so, her kindness and remembrance of our grandchild’s interest.
Each day would find me going to the grocery store asking, “Has my ball glove come in yet?” You can imagine the patience of a ten year old Larry Adamson. It seemed to go on forever with no delivery. One day I was just checking again and was told, “Well, the glove has been shipped and it is at the store in town. It will be delivered here in three or four days.” What? Three or four more days? Oh man, come on.”
Standing near the counter over hearing what I had just been told was “Old Man, Mr. Ray.” That was what he was called in this community. His first name was Ray and I guess he was old. To a ten year old most everybody is old. Ray walked to the counter where my mother had just delivered the “glad tidings” that it was going to take another three or four days before the glove is delivered. He called my mother by name and said, “How about if I carry Larry into town to the store where the ball glove is and he can get it today?” My mother thanked him for his kind thought but said, “Oh, he can wait a few more days.” Ray then repeated his request with a bit more urgency and my mother finally consented.
Later that afternoon found this ten year old boy playing second base at the local ball field with a new Nellie Fox model glove.
On one of my recent trips back home, by chance, my path crossed with one of “Old Man Ray’s” great-grandchildren. I was in a gas station combination restaurant when I heard the last name of Mr. Ray’s. I was reminded of his kindness from my boyhood days. I remembered that day and the act of kindness an “old man” gave to a child.
Small acts of kindness in the minds of the receivers are seldom thought of as small, and are seldom forgotten.
Today, thank you Vicky for remembering our grandson with your act of kindness. Thank you for the “goodie bag” of Japanese gifts you brought back to him; and for having his name written in Japanese. He was excited; maybe like receiving a new ball glove!