When my husband was deployed a few months ago, our son was very sad. He had never been away from his dad and he really missed him. Of all things, they had a special bond of doing yard work together. A couple days after the deployment, our son said he was going over to our neighbor’s house to see if Dean could come out and work in the yard with him. Dean is not a child—he has a wife and three girls as well as a full-time job. But Dean set aside whatever he was doing and started raking the yard with our son. That night, our son came home with the biggest smile on his face. And the next day, our son knocked on Dean’s door and out he came to help our son blow the leaves out of the yard. Nearly every day for the past couple months, Dean has been working outside with our son. Not just in our yard, but other neighbors’ yards. Dean can sense our son’s sorrow of his dad not being there, but Dean is helping take our son’s mind off that for a short period every day. And doing something that my son and husband loved to do. Dean is also teaching him to serve and be responsible. Together, they chopped up a tree that had blown down across a road during a storm. My husband and I have three kids and I don’t know how I could have handled this deployment if it wasn’t for Dean’s unselfishness. He’s made this manageable. And the joy he has brought to our son is immeasurable. He says he does this because he loves to help others, especially people who really have a need, just like Jesus taught us. It only takes one person to set an example that might end up having a snowball effect on a lot of people. Dean is certainly that example around our neighborhood.
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