Our car battery died in the parking lot of our local Flower Power. Man went out on foot to find us a new battery and I sat in the café, watching my rug rats eat banana bread with their grubby garden hands and dirty fingernails.
The older man seated by me was lunching with his 92 year old mother. They sat next to a table where there was another man, a very old-looking man, who was eating alone. I was close enough to hear the entire conversation. He was 89.
The very old-looking man had his walking frame in the way and the younger man asked if he could move it slightly. It began a conversation between them. After they discussed hearing loss tidbits, the older man told the younger man that he needed his walking frame as he was injured in the Borneo War.
The younger man turned his body towards the older man, reached for his hand and he shook it firmly, with sincerity.
The younger man said, “Thank you, mate. Thank you. Thanks for everything you’ve done for our country, mate”.
The old man’s eyes, already swollen, red and watery, brimmed with tears as the younger man held onto his hand.
They spoke for a while but I couldn’t hear them. My own eyes were full and my heart was heavy.
My quick sniffle caught my son’s curious young eye.
“That old man”, I leaned down into him, whispered and pointed. “He’s a real hero”.
My Man returned promptly. He was sweaty and angry but he had found our new battery.
Happy Father’s Day to all our heroes.