A couple of years ago, this friend, whom we like to call WGPP, reluctantly retired from a job that was really more like one of his hobbies. That left him with a lot of free time each day, hours that couldn’t be entirely filled by his other main hobbies, fishing, reading, and poker. WGPP’s wife steadfastly refuses to let him stay home all day, so he had no option but to go out and find something else to occupy his time. What he found was a bunch of friends in need of transportation. One needed rides to chemo treatments, a double amputee needed rides to appointments at the VA hospital, an elderly woman with failing sight needed rides everywhere. His wife and a couple of friends, who shall remain nameless but look very much like me and the hubby, needed a sober driver to take them to local wineries for wine tastings.
WGPP is a consummate driver. He drove for more than 20 years in his job, and there are very few places in this state he can’t get to (he’s also one of the few people I know who never uses a GPS to get anywhere). He is happy being on the road. He enjoys being able to share stories with a captive audience. He has lots of free time and a wife who won’t let him stay home (did I mention that already?). These factors have led him to become the go-to guy whenever someone in his circle needs to get somewhere. Rarely do they have to ask him to drive. As soon as they mention they’ve scheduled an appointment, want to see a movie, or need bread and milk (or a glass of wine), he says, “I’ll be there at X o’clock to pick you up.” He never asks to be compensated for his time, his fuel, or the wear-and-tear on his car. He pays no mind to the distance, the hours consumed, the foul weather, or any other inconveniences many others might gripe about.
He drives for love. For the love of driving. For the love of being in the company of friends as the miles roll by. For the love of a good chat over a meal that wasn’t necessarily part of the original itinerary. For the love of unexpected side trips, because this thing worth seeing was along the route home from the original destination. For the love of being out of the house. He drives for love.
WGPP’s acts of kindness have a profound effect on the lives of those he touches. I’m not sure he always hears or absorbs the appreciation he deserves, because he often acts like the person he drove was actually the one doing him a favor. But I know the gratitude is there, not only from the ones in the car with him, but their family members who have been temporarily relieved of chauffeur duties. He is a quiet hero with a heart of gold who rides up to save the day in a chariot made by Volkswagen.
WGPP, on behalf of all of your passengers, past, present, and future, I thank you for your kindness, your selflessness, and your love. May the road always rise up to meet you.
In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!
If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2051 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂