My father-in-law was experiencing so much back pain by the time my husband was eight years old that he asked his son to start mowing the lawn for him. Mick also began tying his father’s shoes when he was that age because of his father’s inability to bend over and do it himself.
From a very young age, Mick was socialized to serve. He builds the fences around our home, he mows our lawn, he fills in dirt, he repairs whatever is broken, he paints whatever is peeling.
So tonight when I agreed to go to the golf course to watch Mick hit two buckets of balls, it was because I wanted to serve him. I wanted to sit there on the bench, the sun setting behind my shoulders, and be encouraging to the man who served in his own family, and has served in ours, for a very long time.
Sometimes the guys who play golf with Mick joke that when one of them is “carrying” the others during a tournament because that particular person is doing well, they “better watch out because they might get saddle sores” from working so hard. I have no doubt Mick has developed saddle sores many times from “carrying” our family through one need or another.
So, I suppose, you could also say I was “taking care of his saddle sores” by being there with him tonight.
Serving him. Encouraging him. Dressing his saddle sores.
It’s the least I can do for the man who does so much.