The air is warm. The ice cream shop looks increasingly inviting. Finally I decide to go in and get some cookie dough ice cream. Waiting patiently in line, I watch the man in front of me, talking to the cashier about his order.
This man is covered in full sleeves of tattoos, he’s young, maybe in his mid thirties. He looks like the kind of man upper class people are taught to fear. But I can tell by his demeanor he is respectful and kind.
The door behind me opens and I turn to see a lady with long brown accented by a white sweatshirt enter the shop.
The man in front of me turns and a look of recognition and a smile comes over his face. He asks her what she wants. She waves him off saying she’ll wait in line. He shrugs. I let her go ahead of me because I am in no hurry.
A look of gratitude passes over his face. I have a feeling his day has been arduous. The couple waits for their ice cream together. I overhear bits of their conversation. Words like “hospice” find their way to my ears.
The tattooed man drops his head and he says “I’m not worried about the pain.” I’m just worried about the rest of the family.”
Tears well up in their eyes and mine. Then like ice cream melting they embrace. They separate and are soon out the door and into the rest of the world.
Be kind out there, always. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.