I’m leaning on today’s “Be Inspired” message:
Consider writing a slice of life story about someone who did something heroic and compassionate for you.
My hero has always been my dad. I have thought about writing this story before. Right now, it seems like the story I want to tell. I was five.
Our little house had a big hill behind it with gigantic tulip poplar trees. The swing set faced the trees just as the hill dropped off to the creek-bed below. I don’t know how long the swing set had been there. It was old, but I loved it. Even though the legs were “anchored” by cement, the swing set “bumped” when we swung high. Sometimes we could see the whole leg lift out of the ground and we would squeal with excitement.
One Saturday afternoon, my dad decided that the old concrete needed to come out so he could pour fresh cement to make the legs more secure. He worked with a sledge hammer and shovel for what seemed like hours. The pounding of the sledge hammer and the sharp sound of his shovel on concrete filled the backyard. I went out to watch him. Just being near my dad was pretty much the best thing I knew.
Somehow, I got in the way just as he freed a large, heavy slab of concrete. He strained to manage its size and weight. He couldn’t. The slab started to roll down the hill but stopped abruptly against my five-year old leg, scraping it badly.
I ran crying into the house.
What has stayed in my memory is what happened that evening. I was bathed and tucked into bed. My Dad came in and sat on my bed which was not a common practice in our family. (At bedtime, the kids just went to bed.) But this night, there he was–so concerned about my leg. He gently assured me over and over that he would never hurt me on purpose. He loved me. I knew that more than I have ever known anything.