The moment you realize you’re proud to do your civic duty by voting.

What I saw

I was at the Matthews Public Library for early voting. As I was standing in line a gentleman in his mid 80s and his wife came walking out of the opposite door from where I was. I guess that would be called the exit door. I told you I wasn’t all that bright.

His wife had her arm wrapped around his left arm. She guided him to a small card table. There he pushed his frail hand around the table until he found what he wanted. An “I Voted Early” sticker.

He grabbed the sticker. His eyes looking downward at the prize in his right hand. From beneath his bucket fishing hat, I could see his eyes. He raised his head and we looked at one another. I nodded. He nodded back. I felt like I knew this man.

We both said good morning and he slowly shuffled off with his wife.

Once inside the room I immediately noticed most of the volunteers were senior citizens. That made me smile.

What I didn’t Know

It wasn’t until after I voted I learned that my grandfather and my grandmother volunteered at their voting precinct for 20 years after his retirement. Every election.

On his 60th birthday and the day he retired he told my mother, “This is the last day these feet will sit idle.”

He was a man of his word. He volunteered at the hospital, his church, the Masonic Lodge, his voting precinct and still managed to travel and grow his beloved tomatoes.

The one thing he loved as much as his family, he never gave up. Fishing. He’d grab his bucket hat, fishing gear and off he’d go.

I hope my generation knows the stories of those who raised our parents. Those stories serve to remind us that we have a duty to serve others. And if at all possible, with as much humility and kindness as we can offer.