A little compassion, please

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When you hit a snag, when  everything seems to be going wrong, it’s so nice to have someone with compassion, someone to understand, to offer a helping hand in a time  when you need all the help you can get.  I offer a couple of examples:
My son-in-law finally got the car of his dreams, a convertible with  German Engineering. It was the perfect complement to his ancient Dodge pickup.  It came to pass that he needed something from the store.  Forgetting middle son’s accident sheet, he said something like, “Son, would you run to the Jot-em-down store and pick up a loaf of bread? Why don’t you take my car?”
Obviously, he had a breakdown in his memory system. This is the son who is, to put it very mildly, accident prone. If there’s a bone in his body that has not been broken or fractured,  it must feel mighty lonesome. But this was his big chance, getting to drive Dad’s car. Who knew? There might be some girls at the store. Anyway, he’d get to drive  the car.
He wrecked it. Ruined the car, but, fortunately, he was not seriously hurt. Oh, bruised and bloody, but nothing serious. Anyway, as quick as he found out about it, here came old Dad. Oh, my beautiful car! I loved it so much. Ruined.” Much gnashing of teeth. Then: “Oh, are you all right?”
See, compassion, understanding when you need it.
Or take the other day. We have an old piano in the den. It is a solid piece of work, Oak, pecan, or some very  sturdy wood. It’s like a hunk of granite. It had been in a bedroom back when the daughter was taking piano  lessons. When it came time to move it, into the  bedroom and from the bedroom to the den, we had to get professional  movers to do the job; and I still can’t  figure out how they got it from the room and down that narrow hall to its current resting place.
It’s solid, is what I’m trying to get across.
I was making the one step from the den into the eating area when my foot slipped or something and I fell back into the piano, hitting my back and head against it in a very hard manner.  I sat there for a moment, feeling the back of my head to see if there were any cracks there. No, didn’t seem to be. But I remembered best friend/first cousin James’ accident. He was living in Birmingham, but he came down to the old home place for a weekend.
He wanted to do a little horseback riding, so he saddled up old Maud, usually a very quiet, gentle mare. But for some reason, she reared up and the girth broke and James fell back  off her rear end and hit his head on a rock or root.  At first, he seemed to be OK, but a little later, his sister decided that he needed to go to the hospital…where he went into a coma and never came  out of it.
That thought was running through my mind as I lay there, cautiously feeling the back of my head
That’s when Frosty screeched, “You stupid idiot,” (we have these cute names for ourselves.), You’re knocking stuff off the piano!”
See what I mean? Caring, loving compassion.
It’s like the time when Daddy didn’t show a bit of  compassion. Before he went out to sell insurance every day, he’d give me a list, verbally, of the things I was supposed to do around the farm. He had set out a row of peach trees. They were kind of his pets. Everybody knows that you have to practically stand over peach trees with a sprayer to have any peaches.
There are different sprays for different stages of the peach’s career. You spray for borers early and then for something else later. I was about half asleep when he was giving me the instructions, and I sprayed the trees with the wrong spray for the time and I flat-out killed two or three trees before I sensed that maybe something was wrong.
He was somehow not too happy. I could have really used some compassion at that stage. Needless to say, I never killed any more peach trees by mis-spraying them.
Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at bobbypsanders@netscape.com.

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