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Daddy’s Cane


Hand, Walking Stick, Arm, Elderly, Old Person, Cane

I have always been intrigued by canes.

My great grandfather was 6’3″, and his canes were taller than I was during my childhood. I would tightly hold his with both hands and clomp around his house and yard. Then I would lay it down beside me and measure myself with it. Trying to pick things up with the crook could exasperate me or elicit a squeal of joy.

We have several of my dad’s canes, and I have bought John some unique ones. There is a brass duck handle on one, and another has a carved wooden base and handle. I found a handmade cane that has carved on it the story of Creation; the man that creates these is a minister. He is fascinated by finding the stories in wood.

These past few weeks, my husband John has been using my other great grandfather’s cane; this grand died when I was two, and Daddy inherited those simple, black canes. When Daddy had surgery several times or an asthma attack, he would pull out his grandfather’s canes for support.

Two weeks ago, John headed out the front door using one of those black canes to run a quick errand. On the stoop next to the sidewalk of our house was a man. He was sitting down and bowed over. There were two grocery bags at his feet. Dressed in khaki pants, shirt, and sweater, he was taking deep breaths.

Walking over to the stranger, John asked if he could help. The man replied that he was just resting before he climbed the rest of the hill. They talked a few minutes; John helped him up, picked up the bags, and handed over the black cane.

“This cane will help you,” were John’s simple words.

Then he watched the man go on his way.

After hearing this story, when John came in to get the other black cane, I smiled. Those other Collins men would have given that same cane away to someone in need, and I have always admired and appreciated my husband’s kindness.

We are often faced with opportunities to be kind and helpful.

Aesop wrote many fables, and they often dealt with animals who were kind. This author said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Our society today is often focused on entitlements and “what’s in it for me.” There’s seldom any reward for unselfish actions.

There have been many stories and movies about the results of being unselfish and reaching out to care for someone else, even a stranger. Pay It Forward hit the theaters in 2000, and I remember being fascinated by the young boy who decided to change the world by reaching out to strangers. His choices, even to bringing a homeless man home to supper, started an avalanche of kindness. This young teen’s idea was rather than pay back a favor from someone; a better idea would be to pay it forward.

I think it would be a good idea to start a chain reaction of paying it forward. What about you?

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