When you live in Mayberry, you get to know most of its citizens. One of our more famous is the Mr. Goodcents man. Mr. G. did not own a car and every day when I took #1 child and then #2 child to the high school, we'd see him walking to work in the early hours, presumably to start baking bread. All sorts of weather, nearly every day and usually in shorts.
His demeanor always seemed content, like walking to a sandwich shop every day was about as good as it gets in life. I wondered why he didn't own a car, why making turkey sandwiches was all he ever seemed to want to do and thanked God I had kids with ambition and goals in life.
When the kids would come home for breaks during college, they'd meet a friend who shared their love of Mr. G. and go to the shop for lunch. They'd happily report back to me that he was there, like they'd spotted a celebrity who also happened to not be a jerk. And then last summer Mr. G. was gone. Moved on without even a goodbye.
Mr. Goodcents real name was Aaron. He was from Vermont. His mama had cancer and he gave up the life he made here to move back home to take care of her. He is fondly remembered and if you mention him, people will say that they miss seeing him around town. It was his absence that made me realize that during all those years of watching him, he had the highest of goals. Living a simple life, being kind, feeding the hungry and tending the sick. In the big picture that really matters, Aaron happened to be a very successful man and wouldn't we all be proud to have a kid turn out like him?