Friday, October 3, 2008

The Milkman

Tonight's contemplation, from Siggie:
There was a man from my youth that left a lasting impression on a future blogger. I shall call him Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith was a milkman- not the ideal profession for anyone seeking security, prosperity and advancement in the 60’s and 70’s. He was a widower, left with 3 daughters to raise on his own. His wife passed away at a young age from a cancer that was diagnosed too late.

Mr. Smith dutifully completed his rounds, everyday, delivering milk and eggs, cheese and butter, to those who felt sorry enough for him to pay the extra few cents so he could make a living and raise his daughters. My parents were among the clients who got to know him and appreciate his ever happy disposition.

The milkman would regale his clients with his weather predictions, warnings of traffic safety and stories of his growing daughters. He would beam with pride as he recounted every prize and spelling bee won, every report card and every milestone passed. I thought that kind of pride was silly and believed my mother or father only feigned interest in Mr Smith’s stories, because they felt sorry for him.

When I became an uncle and then a parent and began to watch the children of my closest friends take their first tentative steps in life, I understood that my parents weren’t feigning interest at all in the well being of Mr Smith’s daughters. I recall that on the first night my daughter was home after her birth, there was an accident that resulted in the death of a child. I watched the report on TV intently and was profoundly upset by the event. I had never paid attention to the reports of traffic accidents before. Now, I was in despair for those poor parents.

In any event, my father always spoke highly of Mr. Smith, but I never paid attention, nor even cared. That our milkman would have a huge impact on my life would be apparent to me, years later.

Read the rest here. Moving.

No comments: