After my daddy died in 1989, I would go to church each Sunday and watch another family in our congregation and long to be like them again. By that I mean before my daddy's death, our family would sit together in church as a family unit....my daddy, my mom, and my family. I loved it. After his death, we stil sat in our same spot. Baptist are like that. They find a seat and claim it as their own. (haha) Any way, I would sit there each Sunday and my mind would wander and my eyes would focus on this particular family. This other family consisted of a daddy, a mom, a daughter and all of her family. A family just like ours. I longed for that closeness, that feeling of family, I missed my daddy putting his arm around me, and I missed the excitement that came with my children siting with their grandparents in church.
From those moments in church I developed a friendship with a very special person. When this man and I would make eye contact in church I would wave to him from the balcony of our church (he sat downstairs). He would actually wait after church until I came downstairs to speak to me in person. He eventually joked with my mom about wanting to adopt me. I would chuckle to myself because little did he know of all the days that I sat there wishing my daddy were still alive and envying his family for just being able to sit in church together. Knowing that his family had the same closeness as mine. Knowing that his daughter loved having him put his arm around her in church just like my daddy would do. Knowing that his grandchildren were excited about sitting with their grandparents in church and sneaking candy.
This man is also known for his kind deeds. Deeds that at times go unnoticed because he does them not for the attention but because he has a heart of gold. Many many times while dining out the waitress will come to us at the end of the meal and say that our bill has been taken care of. I know exactly who has done it. The gentle giant who I call my friend. Right now he is battling cancer and it hurts to the core to know the battle ahead of him. It hurts to know how hard he will have to fight. The amazing thing is that while he is battling this demon, he is still thinking of others, still doing for others and still putting smiles on the faces of so many, especially mine! I wish you strength and courage Mr. Sharpton!
Travis Lee Callahan Jr.
1 year ago