Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Our car tore through the black rainy night. The only light came from the car and an occasional lightening flash in the distance. The only sound was the rhythmic clacking of the wipers as they vainly tried to clear the windshield. We had just cross the river bridge and turned toward town, still miles away.

Suddenly there was a humped figure, bundled against the rain and cold, walking along the road. Often bums and hobos would sleep under the bridge where it was still dry.
My father pulled to the side of the road. I watched as he got out of the car and trudge back through the rain to the shadowy figure. In the glow of the headlights, I saw him hand the man a couple of dollars, then he turned and walked back to the car.

As we continued our homeward journey my anger built. Finally I could not hold it inside any longer. "I have holes in my shoes and do not have lunch money for school, how can you give away money to some bum you do not even know?" There was a long silence. The only sound the constant clacking of the wipers. I watched my fathers face in the glow of the headlights. There was a pained sadness in his eyes. Quietly he said, "We always have enough to share with those that have less". I sat back quietly in the dark ashamed of my selfishness.

Michael and his wife Joeann own a small cafe and dive shop on the boulevard. The tasty hamburgers are almost like those back home. Like you, each day they struggle to pay the bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over their family's head. Their life is so hectic they do not even know if they are making a profit; they just jeep working and praying. Last Christmas, they opened their small cafe to all the street urchins. They wanted to make sure these young children had at least one good meal that year. Last week they took a large party of divers snorkeling at Apo Island. This party of foreigners and Filipinos signed on because they knew half the profits would go to a local schools and orphanages. When the profits were not as much as expected, Mike and Joeann dug into their own pockets. They hope to make these charity dives a monthly event.

Mike and Joeann never knew my father, but they have my father's compassion. Michael and his wife always have enough "to give to those who have less".

They are my "Everyday Heroes" for this week.

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