You is Kiiiind, you is smaaaaart, you is special.

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I know this may put my man card in jeopardy but, I watched and enjoyed The Help. I think part of this has to do with a relationship I had in my life. My great grandfather was a very wealthy man in Levelland, Texas. If I remember correctly at one point he even owned a car dealership. There came a time in my great grandparent’s lives that they couldn’t safely drive any more and so they hired a man that was a mechanic in my great grandfather’s shop. James was a very large black man and one of the kindest men I ever knew. I don’t know that I ever heard my great grandfather say more than 4 words together and he wasn’t known for his gentleness. What I knew was that James was one of my great grandfather’s best friends. I remember that James had the biggest hands I had ever seen. I also remember that James was a part of our family. It was not uncommon to have James at their house when we had family gatherings. He was there on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving. While I remember meeting his wife once and being at his house once, I don’t think I ever remember thinking that James was anything other than OUR family. Later in life I learned he had kids of his own. I don’t remember ever seeing anything but GIGANTIC smile on James’ face. If he didn’t enjoy me climbing up in his lap he never let on. I never realized that if he was with us on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve he was away from his family. What I realize now is that James had a heart for service. We would always joke that James was our own version of Driving Miss Daisy, only my great grandmother wasn’t a cranky old lady. James enjoyed driving for my great grandparents. He enjoyed being useful. In my memory of him I think it would drive him nuts to just sit around and do nothing. Even in retirement he found ways of helping people. I don’t know what kind of mechanic he was but I know what kind of man he was. He was a man who wanted to help people. I hope that in my life I can be known for my kindness and cheerful attitude like James was for me. Become the Target.

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