Let me tell you about a man who showed up at the right time. About a month ago, I wrote a post about a woman who helped my family during a difficult time, but the first person I mentioned in that post was another man who stepped up and helped a woman raising twin girls who had lost her husband. My mother had to finish my dad’s construction jobs before she could go forward in her life. Daddy’s carpenter, B.J., stepped up. He walked my mother through every step to get the buildings finished and finally sold. Meanwhile, my mother had a full-time job and had to balance the whole thing. I am not sure if she could have done it without B.J. There was no reason for him to do it but the kindness of his own heart. He was married and had a good life. He didn’t need to do this, as he had plenty of other work and family to focus on. He was there for us in such a way, it only could have been at God’s direction. He was the “I can” man when my mother thought she might not be able to do those things. For years, he stopped by with vegetables from his garden and checked in on us. He was like a grandfather since my mother’s parents had long been gone. She was alone and scared, and he stepped in and got us from a place of confusion and pain to a place of peace and normalcy, whatever normalcy was.
Yesterday, my sister sent a column from the local paper where I grew up. B.J. Cummings, 89, passed away and was honored in memorial on February 22. He was 89! I quickly did the math and realized he was only ten years older than my father. Because he had been outside all of his life, his leathery skin made him appear much older. He lived a good life, had kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I wonder if they ever knew what a hero he was to us. Even a small act of kindness at the right time, though this was no small feat, can change others’ lives. I will never forget him, or those few years he was in our lives as a knight in shining armor.