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In this day of doom and gloom with destruction described as “peaceful” it’s important to find a little sunshine through the dark clouds.

Just to prove my point, this is what a dear friend of mine did recently to..

“Bring the Sunshine.”

Sometimes I get lost in my own thoughts, where things that were once important are hardly a thought anymore. There was a time a birthday for others was a big deal, and now, not so much anymore.

That being said, I tend to overlook this with others now too, “assuming” that they either feel the same way I do or worse, I have ignored something important to others based upon my own feelings.

Fortunately, I have a friend that doesn’t see things the same way I do.

Hank lives in Goose Creek South Carolina and he and his wife’s kids are grown and out of the house.

But like all of us, he has neighbors.

One such family lives next door to he and his wife.

The family have a little boy that is seven years old that Hank gave the nickname “T-Bone”.

I have met T-Bone, he seems a little undersized to me, kind of frail.

But he more than makes up for his lack of size with a big personality.

I will tell you something else about T-Bone, he takes care of his baby sister who may be around six years old and he never lets her out of his sight when they are playing together or with other children.

I will tell you something else

That little boy idolizes Hank and is always over at his house when Hank returns from work, asking this or that or asking if he can play in the big boat parked in his garage.

Hank always makes time for T-Bone, talks with him, answers him and allows him to play in his boat.

I can only imagine what T-Bone is imagining playing in that big ole boat.

Is he a Pirate about to board an enemy ship or the Captain of a Swift Boat picking up Commando’s after a raid, maybe he is imagining himself exploring some dark snake infested river in the Congo?

Whatever it may be, that little boy loves playing in that boat.

A week ago, T-Bone was having his eighth birthday and he insisted “Mr. Hank” come to his house to sing Happy Birthday and watch him blow out the candles on his birthday cake.

Hank sang, congratulated T-Bone and took pictures with T-Bone’s family gathered around the cake.

But that wasn’t enough, Hank had an idea. A great idea.

The next morning, the day after T-Bone’s Birthday, Hank loaded up his boat, and along with his wife, took T-Bone and his father out on the boat for the day.

That may not seem like a big deal to you readers, but anyone who has a boat or who has had one stored in a garage knows that it takes a lot of work to get that together, especially on a spur of the moment.

But that didn’t bother Hank. Not one bit.

Because you know what else?

Hank knew that T-Bone had never been out in the water in an actual boat.

Not once.

After a launch from the local boat ramp they headed out to a location to anchor the boat and swim.

After swimming for a bit, it was time to head to another location on the water.

That was when “Mr. Hank” said, “T-Bone come here and drive the boat”

Can you imagine the excitement in that little boy?

My heart races just thinking about it.

I saw a picture or two of T-Bone at the helm of the boat and I can tell you this with some certainty, that was a look of pure “Joy” on that little boy’s face.

With Mr. Hank sitting next to him, helping him, guiding him, teaching him, T-Bone

“Opened it Up”

The boat was flying down the river and bouncing off the waves with ‘Captain” T-Bone at the wheel.

They rode around the river for the better part of an hour with T-Bone at the wheel, while Mr. Hank taught him “port from starboard” with just a simple tap on T-Bone’s shoulder.

He taught T-Bone about the buoy’s and the currents of the river all while the little eight-year-old was driving the boat.

The pictures I saw of that day are priceless.

The indescribable happiness on a little eight-year-old boy’s face.

His dreams had come true.

He wasn’t playing on the boat any longer, he was at the wheel of the boat flying down the river.

I can’t imagine a better birthday for an eight-year-old or an eighty-eight-year-old.

But, you see, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

Sad to admit, but I wouldn’t have thought of it.

Because somewhere in life that wasn’t important to “me”.

But some things that aren’t necessarily important to “us” are damn sure a “Big Deal” to others, especially an eight-year-old little boy.

That’s a point worth remembering that I need to constantly remind myself of and not forget it.

But I will tell you, there is something more worth remembering here too.

All of us can bring a little of “The Sunshine” in this darken world.

All we need to do is recognize an opportunity when we see it.

Which is exactly what Hank did, he saw an opportunity to bring the sunshine and he did it.

One last thing….

When I heard about all of this later in the afternoon after the boat was parked and T-Bone and his father had returned to their home, it warmed my heart and watered my eyes.

It made me feel good and I didn’t even have anything to do with it.

See how that “Sunshine” works now?

RTR
MEB