Someone Like Me

I grew up in an orphanage. The people were nice, but money was always very limited. I knew I was there because I had no where else to go. I felt no one else wanted me. I had no sense of self-worth.
Then, this organization of men started coming to the orphanage at Christmas time. All the boys and girls would get two dollars each. The men would take us in groups of five to downtown Jacksonville, Florida, to do some Christmas shopping.
I remember going with this one gentleman three years in a row. He would take us shopping, then he would ask us if we wanted to go to the movies.
I remember watching him closely when we got to the theater. I watched him as he pulled out his wallet to pay for our tickets. He looked over at me and just smiled with his great big smile. During the movie he bought us all the popcorn and candy that we wanted.
I remember thinking how wonderful it was that someone would spend their own money on someone like me.
We all laughed at the funny movie and had a really good time. The man would laugh really hard and then he would pat me on top of the head. Then he would laugh really hard again and reach over and rustle my hair. I would just look at him and he would just keep smiling with his great big wonderful smile. I couldn't believe it! He really liked me! I didn't believe anyone outside the orphanage did.
That trip to the movies was the first time in my life that I ever felt as if someone really cared about me. It was a wonderful feeling which I have never forgotten, even to this day, decades later. I don't know if that man felt sorry for me, but I do know this: If I ever win the big lottery, that man will find out just how much that million-dollar smile and that moment of caring really meant to me.
I often wonder now if he knew I felt I had no self-worth, for it was those times that instilled a sense that someone really did care and I might really have some worth as a person. I have never forgotten it.
I now seek to repay those long ago acts of kindness at every opportunity.
It is these little-tiny acts that will insure that when some confused child wonders if they really do have any worth as a person, he or she will forever remember that small glimmer of kindness that was shown to them by someone. That little speck of hope, that little dim light of goodness that will forever be stuck somewhere in the far reaches of their young confused minds to draw on in time of need.
I thank you, kind Sir, for a memory which I now share with my children and grandchildren fifty years later.
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
Have a great day...
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