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Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Stranger at the Y

This is post is different than I normally would write, but with so many negative things happening  in our nation as of late I thought a random act of kindness would be worth writing about.   My family and I love to participate in the activities at our local YMCA. Well anyway my youngest son and I were up playing in the gym, playing games using one of the basketballs in the gym when my older brother came in to shoot some hoops.  Now my older brother has grown up with many challenges in his life making him different than most people. In fact the differences have made him the object of mistreatment, condescending attitudes,  and bullying many times in his life, especially growing up.  Let me just tell you places that I have would never have ever hoped he would be subjected to those mindsets are the very places where this kind of treatment has occurred...enough said on that subject. Needless to say I tend to err on the protective side where Chris is concerned (though I will admit we act like typical siblings hahah, having our disagreements etc)   Well anyway he LOVES to play basketball and feels a great sense of accomplishment when he can "SWISH" the ball through the hoop.  As I was playing with my youngest son, I began to notice this older gentleman standing off to the sides of where Big Bro was shooting hoops,   every time the ball hit the backboard and bounced off to the side, this gentleman (I'll call him Dan for short) would retrieve the ball, toss it back in so Chris could shoot again.  My son and I continued to play but I continued observing as Dan patiently tossed the ball back to Chris...every once in a while I would notice him walk over to Chris, when he would miss a shot and quietly tell him something, maybe some instruction?  I was now intrigued...who was this man ?  Well my son and I sat on the bleachers, since we were done playing and watched the interaction.  Dan began cheering him on...telling him to "see" the ball going though the hoop... aim higher...each time Chris 's free throw shot improved, it improved to the point he made 5-6 shots straight in a row.  Each time the ball made it though the net Dan exclaimed loudly...way to go, you got this, etc!!   By the time we were ready to go Chris's face said it all with big smiles and a sense of accomplishment.  We shook hands with this kind man, not a coach...just a kind man who loved the sport and spent many hours observing the game .  Thank you Dan!!  You made Chris smile and an left an impression that will never be forgotten.  Kind, unselfish, caring people are out there,  you just have to take a minute to "see" them .