“Deleting photos, I came across a gaggle of little tie-dye shirts and a huge lesson in manhood.
4 years ago, my son Connor had just gotten back from a year of study abroad and was set to graduate college the following spring.
He was 21, tall, strong, intelligent, and confident to the point of cockiness.
I had just gotten home from a long, hot day at work when he pulled in from his job running the town’s playground program. I was probably a miserable prick, but he asked if I could give him a hand for a few minutes. I agreed.
So, he pulls these garbage bags of wet tie-dyed shirts out of his car and starts to rinse them out and hang them to dry. I help. He explained that there was a field trip to the zoo, and kids made the shirts to be identified as part of the group.
‘Why are you doing this on your own time?’ I asked.
‘No shirt, no trip,’ was the response.
‘How many kids?’
I shook my head, thinking, ‘What about the parents? Where’s your staff? You make peanuts,’ and so on.
And with every shirt, he told me about the kid that made it by name, little stories, smiling as he thought with a small belly laugh every so often.
50 some shirts.
50 some stories.
All by name.
On his own time.
2 months later, Connor passed away suddenly.
I think about this memory often. My son taught me what being a man is. Kindness is a moral obligation. Use your strength to foster and protect others. Sh*t, just take the time to remember someone’s name and what makes them unique.
50 some little shirts.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kevin Glassett. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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