A bunch of useless crap
Published on June 22, 2010 By MasonM In Blogging

I delivered the fire truck to the port in Seattle despite being ill.

I made my way to the truck stop and emailed the proof of delivery the customer requires (scanner/copier/printer in the truck) and then collapsed for a while. I was pretty well wiped out.

After napping for about four hours I had a bite to eat and made my way down to the local tavern. As I am ill I eschewed alcoholic beverages and just drank ginger ale. Alcohol only serves to dampen the immune system and as I am fighting off Shingles I figured that would be a bad thing.

My energy level was really low and I really wasn't in the mood for the tavern but sitting around in the truck was even worse. I chatted with a few of the locals who know me and didn't let on about how I really felt. All in all I had a reasonably good time.

A fellow called Smoky came in, whom I have known for several years and who is in the process of dieing of cancer, and was in good spirits. We chatted for a while and it lifted my own spirits as my piddling little illness can't even come close to what he is going through and yet he was happy and eager to socialize.

His daughter, who I have also known for many years, was in far poorer spirits than he was himself. We talked for a good bit while he was shooting pool and I think I may have helped her to see that it was more important for him to enjoy his remaining time than for her to mourn a death that hadn't yet come.

I admit that I'll miss Smoky too, and I'll remember him as a very good man, friend, and the maker of the best moonshine I've ever tasted, but only after he is gone. For now I'll be his friend, drink with him, laugh with him, and get my ass whipped by him at pool. He is truly one of the good ones and always thinks about others before himself.

His daughter actually resented him for the many, many people he has helped out over the years because so many of them took advantage of his generosity, no....love, and she saw these things happen. I pointed out to her tonight that HE was doing the right thing and it was those people who did wrong, not him. He is the good man doing the right thing even if the people he tried to help didn't deserve it.

Now that I am back in my truck, alone, I can think about Smoky passing soon, which we all know he will, including himself, as the cancer takes him, and I know that I was truly blessed to have known him and counted him among my friends. I am doubly blessed to know that he counted me among his own friends.

Running into him tonight while I was sipping soda, smoking my pipe, and on some level bemoaning my current illness, reminded me that no matter how badly things are going for me or how ill I may feel there is always someone out there worse off than myself. My little bout with Shingles doesn't even come close to what poor Smoky is going through right this moment.

Just for the record, Smoky is a good man with a great heart and although we aren't related in any way that I know about I love the old fart. I know he will go to the clearing at the end of the path very soon as the cancer takes him down, but he enjoyed his life, always tried to help others, and was a true gentleman in every respect of the word.

As for me, I am ashamed to have even written a single word about my own little piddling problem.

on Jun 22, 2010

Your problems are not piddling, but you are right.  There are always others worse off than ourselves.  I am glad you had a chance to spend some time with Smoky as your schedule is not one that makes regular appointments easy.  As I have gotten older in life, I have seen many who are far better than me who have inspired me to keep going as my problems are always so small in comparison, and since I am here, always manageable as well. 

Our inspiration does not come from world records or herculean feats, but from the simple greatness of those around us.  Too often we do not see it before it is too late.  But you have been given a gift of recognizing it during life, and that is to be treasured as well.

on Jun 22, 2010

Our inspiration does not come from world records or herculean feats, but from the simple greatness of those around us.

Very true.

on Jun 22, 2010

there's a saying that goes something like this...don't measure your life by the days you have but in the smiles you were able to give to another. 

Consider the fact that you were given another opportunity to smile with Smoky. 

on Jun 23, 2010

Consider the fact that you were given another opportunity to smile with Smoky.

I do, and that's along the lines of what I told his daughter as well.

on Jun 25, 2010

Hugs Mason.  You are truly a good man.  j